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Miscreant Arrested For Assault on Imam in Maharashtra’s Jalna

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — One of the three miscreants, who reportedly assaulted an imam of a mosque in the Anva village of Jalna in Maharashtra, has been arrested. Besides assaulting him, the miscreants allegedly cut off the imam’s beard after his refusal to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

An official in the Jalna police control room told Clarion India that they have arrested one person. He refused to share the details.

“We have made an arrest. We cannot give more details. I will have to check with my seniors. We have a heavy deployment of the police force in the area. We are giving protection to the victim,” he said over the phone.

Clarion India contacted Paradh police station where the FIR on the incident was lodged. An official said he was not aware of the actions taken in this regard. Clarion India was directed to contact assistant police inspector Abhijeet More. However, More did not respond to several calls.

According to reports, three masked men barged into the mosque on Sunday night and forced the imam, Zakir Sayyed Khaja, to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When he refused, he was brutally assaulted.

The FIR said that the assaulters took the imam to a secluded part of the mosque and kicked and punched him till he fell unconscious. They even muzzled him with a piece of cloth almost choking him to death.

Khaja regained consciousness in the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Aurangabad where he was taken by after some locals. Khaja also found that the attackers had cut off his beard. He had multiple bruises on his chin, chest, and face.

The FIR was filed against unknown persons under Section 295 (Injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion), Section 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrong­ful restraint), Section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi has written a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding strict action on the matter.

“I demand from Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that strict action should be taken against the miscreants who broke into the Anva village mosque of Jalna, assaulted the imam and cut off his beard in order to create communal tensions,” Azmi tweeted.

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