In the shocking incident, the four men were beaten up by local village hoodlums, who human rights activists say target Muslims, Dalits and Pardhis and attack and abuse them without fear of any strict follow-up action from authorities
Ashok Kumar | Clarion India
MUMBAI – Four Tablighi Jamaat members from Maharashtra’s backward region of Marathwada were beaten up on Wednesday night in a remote village, with the assailants telling them to leave India as they were not fit to live here.
The four men – Aslam Ather, Sayyad Layak, Nizamuddin Qazi and Suhail Tamboli – were travelling to a village in Beed district from their town when they stopped late at night after the car developed some problems. Two men going on a bike saw them and immediately began abusing them. They then summoned six other friends, who then went ahead and beat up the four.
Ashok Tangade, an activist and key member of Jagar Pratisthan, which takes up human rights issues and attacks on Muslims, Dalits and Pardhis in the district, told Clarion India on Saturday that such attacks are common in the district. “If it was a group of upper-caste Hindus who were stranded by the roadside that late at night, the men would have taken them to their homes, offered them food and even given a place to sleep till their vehicle was repaired the following morning,” he said. “But because the four men were Muslims, they beat them up, accusing them of unsubstantiated charges and looking at them with suspicion.”
According to Tangade, such anti-social elements have taken up the law in their hands in remote districts and villages and dictate terms. “Muslims, Dalits and Pardhis cannot travel at night, according to these elements,” he bemoans. “The moment they spot somebody who is not part of their community, caste or religion, they start creating problems.”
Tamboli told the police that the attackers dragged them, pulled their beard and threw their caps. “Tum Hindustan mein rehne ke laayak nahi ho, tum yahan nahi reh sakte,” they were told. The assailants beat them up with bricks and sticks and the four men were worried they would end up killing them.
Ather and Layak managed to escape and hid in a nearby farm, and the other two continued to be beaten up. The police finally arrived an hour later and took the four men to a government hospital. An FIR has also been registered and two of the assailants have been arrested, according to a police spokesman.