According to the police, the mob of Hanuman devotees and others attacked Imran after he hit a man in ‘Hanuman mala’ with a shoe over a non-religious dispute. But claims of Imran’s sister suffering a miscarriage aren’t substantiated.

Video of mob chanting Jai Shri Ram while attacking Muslim family emerges from Telangana A Hindu mob attacking a Muslim family in Narsapur, Telangana
news Communal violence Friday, May 26, 2023 - 12:54
Edited by  Jahnavi Reddy

Disturbing visuals of an attack by a group of Hindu men against a Muslim family while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ have emerged from Telangana. In the videos from Medak district’s Narsapur, a mob of around 15-20 men are heard loudly chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while assaulting a man named Imran Ahmed, and manhandling his visibly pregnant sister Ayesha Anjum and their mother who kept trying to shield him from them. The perpetrators, some of them Hanuman devotees in saffron clothes, tore Imran’s shirt and tried to strip him while assaulting him, before the local police intervened. While the incident occurred on May 7, the videos came to light on Thursday, May 25 and many claimed that Ayesha suffered a miscarriage following this.

The incident of communal violence started off as an interpersonal scuffle between Imran, a biryani stall owner, and Lingam, who was delivering an LPG cylinder to him.

A local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Narsapur Municipality councillor Rajender Yadav, was also involved in protesting outside the police station later, said Yadagiri Reddy, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Toopran. However, he was not booked as he was not directly involved in the physical assault, the DSP added.  

While the altercation did take place and the police registered FIRs immediately after the incident against both Imran and ten members of the Hindu mob who committed the assault, the police say they have received no complaint regarding Ayesha’s plight. “We contacted the family on May 25 again, they gave no complaint regarding a miscarriage,” the DSP said. 

According to All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Kausar Mohiuddin who said he had spoken to her husband, a week after the incident, Ayesha gave birth to a baby who passed away within three days. “The pregnant woman in the video, Ayesha Anjum, delivered the baby on May 14, and the baby was kept under observation at Niloufer Hospital for three days. The baby died on May 17,” the MLA said, adding that while Abrar was unaware of the exact events, Ayesha’s health condition was alright. 

What led to the incident 

According to the Toopran DSP Yadagiri Reddy, the series of events began with an argument between Imran (32) and Lingam (28) over an LPG cylinder. Imran, who runs a biryani eatery near Narsapur crossroads, had ordered a cylinder which was delivered by Lingam. Imran’s mother refused to return an empty cylinder in exchange, saying it still had some fuel, and asked Lingam to collect it a few days later. Lingam refused, and a heated argument followed between the two men. "The argument quickly became tense, and Imran hit Lingam with his shoes,” the DSP said.

Lingam happened to be in ‘Hanuman mala’, a period of preparation considered sacred by Hindus ahead of a pilgrimage — similar to the practice of Ayyappa pilgrims who visit Sabarimala — in which the devotees wear saffron clothes, abstain from certain ‘sinful’ activities and refer to each other as ‘swami’. After Imran allegedly assaulted him, Lingam informed around 10-15 other ‘swamis’ who were also dressed in saffron and gathered at Imran’s eatery, the DSP said. He added that a BJP councillor of Narsapur Municipality named Rajender Yadav was also involved in gathering the group, but denied that he was directly involved in the assault captured on camera.

The group of ‘swamis’ or Hanuman devotees along with other supporters were seen surrounding Imran, Ayesha and their mother in the videos, while about four or five of them actively assaulted them, according to the DSP. The mob can be heard loudly chanting Jai Shri Ram The videos show police officers intervening and trying to defuse the situation. 

Police action

While FIRs were registered against both sides — Imran and ten men in ‘Hanuman mala men’, according to the DSP — only Imran was taken into police custody for a day before he was let go. While a case was registered against Lingam and a few other perpetrators who were identified from the mob, no further action has been taken against them since then, he said.  

Imran was booked under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the mob members were booked under sections 448 (house-trespass), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 506.  

Amjed Ullah Khan, a Hyderabad-based politician from the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), shared the videos of the mob assault on Thursday, alleging that the police had sided with the perpetrators. He called the attention of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government and the AIMIM towards the incident, alleging negligence towards violence against Muslims in Telangana. 

Circle Inspector (CI) of Narsapur police station, Lal Mazhar, claimed that the perpetrators couldn’t be identified immediately as they were part of a mob. "It was a mob and it took two to three days for us to identify them. By then, most of them went to different places as part of their ‘Hanuman mala’ ritual pilgrimage,” he said. He added that following the assault, notices under section 41A (notice of appearance before a police officer) of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) were served to all those who were booked. He said that the mob members were not arrested as the offences they were charged with had a maximum punishment of less than seven years. Imran, however, was taken into custody to maintain peace in the town, he added. 

“Both the parties were called and given counselling. People identified in the mob were also served notices under CrPC section 41A. We will soon file a chargesheet in the case. But in cases where the punishment is less than seven years, there is no compulsion to take people into custody or remand. It can be done depending upon the situation. We did everything according to the law, in the interest of harmony among the communities,” the CI told TNM. 

AIMIM MLA Kausar Mohiuddin issued a video statement saying that while Imran was arrested and later released on bail, the police had not taken action against Lingam yet, as he was in ‘mala’. “Once he removes the ‘mala’, police will arrest them,” the MLA said.  

Also read: Telangana police detain rationalist amid protests over comments on Ayyappa 

Trigger warning: Violence










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