NEW DELHI — In yet another unfortunate incident a Muslim cleric Imlaqur Rehman Qasmi, 30, was allegedly assaulted and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district by 12 unidentified youths.
The youths allegedly pulled the beard of Imlaqur Rehman and forced him to cry “Jai Shree Ram” in Doghat area of UP’s Baghpat district when he was returning home in Muzaffarnagar’s Budhana on a motorcycle, according to reports.
The incident took place on Saturday and FIR was lodged against the 12 youths on Sunday at Doghat police station, The Times of India reports.
The victim Imlaqur Rehman is an Imam and teaches madarsa students at a mosque in Sardhana area of Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh.
When he was going home, according to FIR, he was forcibly stopped by around 10 youngsters near Sarora village in Baghpat district.
“They removed the cap from my head and pulled me down by holding my beard. They forced me to repeatedly say ‘Jai Sri Ram’ with them and warned me against taking the same route again. And if I dared to come back, I should remove my beard before entering into their territory,” Rehman was quoted as saying in the FIR, as reported by The Indian Express.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ramala) Anuj Kumar Chaudhary, however, reportedly said that according to the video of the incident it is clear that no one forced the victim to chant Jai Sri Ram. “Prima facie, it doesn’t seem to be a case of religious context but that of assault,” he said.
Baghpat police, on their part, confirmed that the cleric was assaulted but refuted other charges of the victim.
Shailesh Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Baghpat said, “we received a complaint from Imlaqur Rehman on Saturday evening in which he claimed that he was stopped on his way home by some 12 people for religious reasons. A case was filed in the matter and investigation set up.”
No arrests have been made so far in the matter.