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Video of ‘fakirs’ being harassed: Villagers tell OpIndia they were concerned after Kanpur violence, strangers had come dressed as Sadhus before

Kishan added that a similar kind of incident had happened in the past when two Muslim men dressed up as Sadhus had arrived in the village. "This happened around one and a half months ago. We made mistake then by not informing the Police."

On Thursday, the Gonda Police in the state of Uttar Pradesh arrested Amresh Tiwari and one other person on the charges of allegedly harassing three men dressed in Islamic costumes, who were collecting alms in the Dingur village. The Police said that the duo treated the three Muslims indecently and based on that a case has also been registered at Khargupur police station.

This is after a video went viral over social media where Tiwari could be seen interrogating the three fakirs. He, along with the other villagers first asked them their full names and about the place from where they had come from. But reportedly, none of them could give satisfactory answers. Tiwari also asked them to show their Aadhaar card but, “we forgot”, is what they said. Tiwari then ‘punished’ them by making them hold their ears and apologize for collecting funds from the villagers.

The villagers have stated that they were alert and concerned after the recent Kanpur violence and wanted to prevent any such incident in Kharagpur’s Dingur. In the viral video, some of the boys running behind the claimed Islamic ‘fakirs’ could be heard saying that ‘people like these dress up as sadhus, fakirs, collect funds and then enjoy Chicken Biryani’. Another one added, “a few days ago, these people also pelted stones in Kanpur”. When asked again about their address, the three men dressed in Islamic costumes said that they belonged to Dulhapur village. The villagers then also asked the claimed ‘fakirs’ to carry their identity cards.

The DSP taking the cognizance of the event accused two persons of deliberately harassing the three persons claiming to be Muslim fakirs. “The villagers behaved indecently with the three men after they failed to prove their identity. While the case has been registered against two, we are investigating the three men and the reason why they had entered the Dingur village”, the DSP added. Confirming the development to Opindia, the DSP stated that the two men named in the FIR will be sent to the Court for further proceedings.

Three claimed ‘fakirs’ failed to prove their identity, say villagers

Meanwhile, team OpIndia also contacted the family of Tiwari who has been arrested by the Police. Amresh Tiwari’s brother Kishan Tiwari while talking to OpIndia said that Dingur is surrounded by areas where Muslims reside and after the Kanpur violence, people in Dingur were on alert. “Amresh is a student. People in my village were quite worried after the Kanpur violence. Amid this, three Muslim men from somewhere entered the village and also failed to prove their identity when asked. My brother didn’t beat them, he only posed a few questions. But the police have booked Amresh and Krishnamohan, the boy who shot the video. Nobody in the village knows anything about the claimed fakirs”, Kishan said.

‘Earlier 2 Muslim men dressed as Hindu Sadhus were caught in the village’

Kishan added that a similar kind of incident had happened in the past when two Muslim men dressed up as Sadhus had arrived in the village. “This happened around one and a half months ago. We made mistake then by not informing the Police. We also fear that Bangladeshi infiltrators might deceptively enter the village and harm us. I myself had called the police in Charbagh, Lucknow a few months back after seeing some suspects but they all had fled before the police arrived”, he stated. It is notable here that in small rural communities, ‘strangers’ are seen with caution as incidents of theft are quite frequent.

Gram Pradhan Farid Khan alleged villagers of harassing three victims

Also, Gram Pradhan of Dingur village, Farid Khan spoke to OpIndia. But he contradicted the concern of the villagers. He denied Kishan Tiwari’s claim that two Muslim men dressed up as Sadhus had arrived in the village. He said, “There’s 40% Muslim population and 60% Hindus here. All stay merrily together. But such incident has happened for the first time”. He called the ‘fakirs’ victim and said that they are known people and belonged to Salar Ghazi Dargah Sharif in Bahraich. “The three men were collecting funds for a fair. People who have harassed them do such things for cheap politics with intention to enter the BJP party”, he alleged.

According to Kishan, villagers had elected Farid Khan as Gram Pradhan who was fighting against Jitendra Shukla. Shukla stated that Dingur village houses a significant Muslim population. He also confirmed that the incident of Muslims dressed as Sadhus entering the village was true and said that these people (Muslims) have been infaming Sadhus. “A couple of people do the wrong and all others have to face the troubles aligned. It looks like the three people who recently came to the village were nothing but fake fakeers”, he added.

Politicians and Journalist target UP CM Yogi Adityanath

Amid the ruckus, a few Islamist minds on social media began to target UP CM Yogi Adityanath over the incident. Without confirming the exact trail of incidents, AIMIM supporter Sayed Khalid Faridi posted the video and captioned it with anti-Hindu words. “This is the new thinking of the new youth of New India who is doing the work of poisoning provided by the new political party, the new Chief Minister (Baba), and the new journalist”, he roughly tweeted in Hindi.

Aam Aadmi Party leader in Uttar Pradesh Rashid Siddiqui also commented on the incident and stated it is a blot on ‘Indian culture’. He also tagged the UP Police and asked them to take a note of the event. “Three Sufis passing through the Dingur village of Khargupur were harassed by a devil who asked them to show an aadhar card. He also forced them to say Jai Shri Ram. This is against Humanity and Indian Culture. I condemn”, his tweet in Hindi roughly read.

Also, journalist Wasim Akram Tyagi took the cognizance of the incident and blatantly stated that Hinduism had been hijacked by a particular ideology. “How religious would be of those who beat fakirs in UP’s Gonda and call them terrorists and make the chant Jai Shri Ram? No vulnerable who can curse should be harassed”, his tweet added.

Claimed ‘fakirs’ had forcefully entered the village to collect funds

On the other hand, journalist Rajat Mishra of SudarshanNewsTv stated that the three men had forcibly entered the village to collect funds. “People of Gonda district of UP have become aware. The villagers gave proper advice to the people who had entered the village forcibly to collect donations for the Urs to be held at the Dargah”, he added.

The Police in the case is investigating the matter and trying to ascertain the identities of the fakirs. The Police have meanwhile registered a case against two villagers named Amresh Tiwari and Krishnamohan and arrested both on the charges of harassing the three fakirs.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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