At 3.18 pm on Thursday, 24-year-old Mohamed Fisan, a resident of Perumal Koil street in Keevaloor, Nagapattinam, posted a picture of him eating curry on Facebook. With a large piece of meat sticking from the bowl, Mohamed’s smiling picture carried the caption – "You can say a thousand things, but beef curry is beef curry".
Little did he know that within four hours of posting this picture, he would be subjected to a brutal attack for an act as innocent as relishing his meal.
Around to 7 pm that day, four men – N Dinesh Kumar (28), R Agathian (29), A Ganesh Kumar (27) and M Mohankumar (28) – attacked Mohamed on the streets. According to police sources, he was stabbed with a knife and beaten with iron rods.
But Mohamed, speaking to the media from a bed in the Nagapattinam government hospital, insisted that his attackers belong to the a right wing group.
"After my Facebook post on the beef curry, some members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi opposed it," he alleges. "They yelled at me saying I can't eat beef curry. But I insisted it was my right. They then took sickles and rods to beat me. They were wearing masks and only let me go because a police officer came to the spot," he adds.
As news of the attack went viral, #beef4life nad #beef began to trend on Twitter. Several social media users pointed out that they have the right to choose what to eat and began to post pictures of beef dishes in response to the attack.
I don’t eat meat,— پربھا (@deepsealioness) July 12, 2019
let alone beef, but I don’t believe in policing food choices. TN is not where you can start lynching people for eating beef, NO as a commmunity we reject this kind of stupidity in our Periyar soil
தமிழன் என்றொரு இனமுண்டு தனயே அவர்க்கொரு குணமுண்டு
These are TOP 3 trends in India right now.— Md Asif Khan آصِف (@imMAK02) July 12, 2019
A Muslim man was thrashed in Tamil Nadu because of Beef.
Now Tamil people are supporting their right to eat Beef. #Beef4life #WeLoveBeef #BeefForLife pic.twitter.com/DRj28HVSlr
I hav eaten beef only once accidentally mistaking chilli beef for Chilli chicken. I didn't like the taste but I support ppl who eat beef. It is none of ur business to tell others what they should eat especially when beef consumption has been in practice sine long. #Beef4life— Muthu (@muthurajk) July 12, 2019
The four attackers have been arrested and booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 307 (Attempt to murder), 506(ii) (Criminal intimidation), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 294 (b) (Uttering obscene words in a public place).