The wife of the Dalit man who was beaten up by some Muslim men in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh on June 21 has alleged that one of the accused Mazarool Hasan had touched her inappropriately and torn her kurta. She said that Hassan threatened her that he would make her Muslim. “Mazrool told me that he would make me a Musalmani (Muslim woman)”, she alleged.
Recently a video of Dalit man being beaten by a mob had gone viral on social media. Later on, it was found out that the video of a June 21 incident where a Dalit man named Shashank Padam Bhusan Sonkar was brutally beaten up by some Muslim men after he stopped them from molesting his wife.
According to a report by journalist Swati Goel Sharma of Swarajya, Sonkar ran a coaching centre in Mohalla Kharkha of Amethi’s Jais area. This is a Muslim majority area as told by Sonkar. His coaching centre provides free of cost one month course in computers under the Prime Minister’s Digital India programme.
As per the report, an FIR was registered on June 21 which stated that on the day of the incident, Sonkar and his wife Gayatri were at the coaching centre. Around 3:50 PM, Mazrool Hasan entered into the coaching centre and started molesting Gayatri. She raised an alarm hearing which Sonkar came running.
Hasan dragged Sonkar out of the coaching centre and hurled casteist remarks at him calling him ‘Sale Khatik’ (Khatik is a Scheduled Caste). Soon three men named Shabbu, Faiziyab and Rehaan joined Hasan and started thrashing Sonkar with iron rods with an intention of killing him. When Sonkar’s younger brother Mayank and sister Sarika tried to stop them, they were also attacked.
The victims have alleged that the police did not add several of their allegations in the FIR and that the motive of the attackers is also not mentioned therein. Sonkar has alleged that Mazrool and some other men have been pressurising him to shut down the coaching centre. “They are jealous that a Dalit like me is able to successfully run a coaching centre while several men from their community failed to do so in the past”, said Sonkar. The victim couple told that there have routine attempts to intimidate them but this was the first time that an assault happened.
The report mentions the statements of two eyewitnesses of the incident Azad Mehboob and Khatija Bano. Mehboob is the owner of the space rented to Sonkar for running his coaching centre and Khatija Bano is a student at his coaching centre. Mehboob told that he was sitting at his shop which is on the ground floor when the incident took place. He said that he saw Sonkar being dragged out of the coaching centre and brutally beaten. “I snatched a wooden rod from an attacker twice and tried to intervene. But I do not know till date what really ensued between the two sides”, he said. Mehboob told that Mazrool’s daughter also studies at the centre. Khatija told that Mazrool’s daughter had been absent for a week before the incident.
Mehboob told that Mazrool had tried to defend his actions before the onlookers by alleging that his daughter was assaulted by Sonkar but his daughter herself refuted the allegation before the police.
An organisation named Agniveer has reported the matter to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). The organisation wrote a letter to the NCSC chairman Ram Shankar Katheria accusing the police of going soft on the culprits. It alleged that the victims’ statements were not recorded as per section 164 of the CrPC due to which the accused got the time to get a stay against their arrest from the court.