West Bengal: Mob Assaults Muslim Youth in Birbhum, Several Arrested

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Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – A mob tied a Muslim youth with a pole and beat him mercilessly with bamboo sticks on the suspicion that the latter deliberately threw meat near a temple.

The incident occurred in Noapora Gaon, in West Bengal’s Birbhum District on Eid al-Adha day on June 17.

An FIR has been registered against unknown persons for the assault on Tufan Sekh (19), a resident of Melerdanga in the district. Reports reaching here said police have arrested 9-10 individuals whose identities have not been released yet.

“He (Tufan Sekh) was riding his bike with one of our family members (Talib Sekh), on his way to a relative’s house to distribute the sacrificial meat. A meat packet fell on the road from the main bag. My brother made a U-turn to retrieve it and was immediately surrounded by a mob. They accused him of deliberately throwing the meat in front of the Hindu temple to hurt their sentiments. This accusation makes no sense; if it had been his intention, he wouldn’t have returned to search the missing packet,” said Bilal Mohammad Sekh, elder brother of the victim.

The mob destroyed the bike and brutally thrashed Tufan, resulting in injuries to his back and shoulder. Talib was beaten on the legs causing severe swelling, he said.

The Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) is closely monitoring the progress of the case.

Secretary of APCR (West Bengal Chapter) Sheikh Khurshid Alam was quoted by The Observer Post as saying that an APCR team visited the location and collected the FIR from Margram Police Station, Birbhum. “There have been inputs that some people of a certain organisation are trying to flare up the matter into a communal issue. Our local member also informed us that the internet was not working within the periphery of the incident site. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad also led a protest against the West Bengal police, accusing them of favouring Muslims,” the report quoted Alam as saying.

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