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Skullcap & 'Jai Shri Ram' chant attack on boy

Circle officer Manoj Gupta said police were trying to identify the attackers from CCTV footage and had got 'some leads'

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 30.06.19, 5:04 AM
  • Updated 30.06.19, 5:04 AM
  • a min read
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“The criminals forcibly removed the boy’s skullcap and asked him to chant a slogan. When he refused, they beat him mercilessly. The boy has back injuries.” (Shutterstock)

A 16-year-old Muslim boy was allegedly kicked and punched by four men in a crowded Kanpur city market on Friday afternoon for wearing a skullcap and refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.

S.K. Singh, station house officer at Barra police station, said a case had been registered against unidentified people for assault and causing enmity between groups.

“The criminals forcibly removed the boy’s skullcap and asked him to chant a slogan. When he refused, they beat him mercilessly. The boy has back injuries,” he told reporters.

The boy told reporters he was passing through Yadav Market in the Kidwai Nagar locality on his way home after Friday prayers when four strangers grabbed his arms and led him to a corner.

“They asked why I was wearing a skullcap. I raised the alarm hoping the shopkeepers would rescue me but realised they were terrified of the attackers. They didn’t even look at me,” he said.

“The attackers removed my cap and asked me to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When I refused, they lifted me by my arms and legs and threw me on the ground. They started kicking me — some of them knelt down and punched me — while repeatedly asking me to chant the slogan. They then left on two motorcycles.”

Circle officer Manoj Gupta said the police were trying to identify the attackers from CCTV footage and had got “some leads”.

The incident follows a familiar pattern witnessed in multiple states.

On June 20, H.M. Shahrukh Halder, 23, a madarsa teacher in Bengal, was beaten up on a Sealdah-bound train for wearing a skullcap and allegedly refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. He was later pushed out of the train.

Tabrez Ansari, a 24-year-old welder, died on June 22 four days after being beaten by a mob in Jharkhand amid suggestions he had been asked to chant Hindu religious slogans.