Lucknow: A day after a Muslim man was beaten in RSS bastion Nagpur and three weeks after a Muslim teenager was lynched in a train, a 10-member Muslim family which also included women and a disabled child was beaten with rods on train Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district.
The incident occurred on Wednesday. According to some reports, the women members of the family were molested before being robbed of cash and jewellery and communal slurs were hurled as the unruly mob used rods to beat them.
Mohammad Shakir (50) and his family were returning from a wedding. They boarded the Shikohabad-Farukkhabad passenger, which did not have GRP personnel, from Bhongaon at night.
Shakir said the attackers identified the family as Muslim after they noticed veil-clad women accompanying them on the passenger train.
“We were attacked with rods. They robbed us and molested the women. They did not spare even my 17-year-old mentally challenged son", Shakir said while talking to reporters.
“These people jumped inside the train, groped the women and snatched their chains. Some of the passengers who came to our rescue were attacked too", he added.
According to Arsaan (22), son of Shakir, "The assailants groped my mother and sister blouse and salwar torn it. They snatched their gold chains and took our luggage and jewellery. They even attacked other passengers who came to rescue us. Later the passengers abandoned the coach leaving us behind to fight the assailants."
"After the incident we attempted to contact police on dial 100, but every time, call was dropped. Later when the train reached Farrukhabad junction, the GRP took us to hospital," he added.
According to some reports, trouble began when one of the accused snatched the mobile phone of Faizan, the physically challenged child of the family. As Shakir and his relatives objected, the accused got violent.
According to other passengers, the accused also passed comments on the women of the family, provoking Shakir and his three male relatives to strike them.
The accused hit them back and called their friends, who boarded the train at subsequent stops and assaulted them with batons and iron rods, and also pelted stones, breaking the train’s window panes.
The injured were admitted to RML Hospital in Farukkhabad, and an FIR was lodged with Farukkhabad GRP. Later, the FIR was transferred to Mainpuri GRP for probe.
Police detained four youths. However, they were not found to be involved in the incident.
Officiating SP of GRP, O P Singh said these youths and other passengers had given clues that may lead to the culprits.
The latest targeting of Muslims comes on the heels of the attack on the family of four brothers returning home after Eid shopping on June 22, with a mob inside the passenger train stabbing them and killing 15 year old Junaid.
Muslims already terrified with the spate of lynchings, and attacks are now scared of travelling in trains with many persons spoken to saying that this is becoming clearly very dangerous. Travelling on the highways as well is also fraught with danger as Muslim families have been attacked for little more than being Muslim.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken out on July 29 against violence, saying it will not resolve any problem with the reminder that this was the land of Gandhi. He had not spelt out the problem, however, although the choice of phraseology was commented upon by Opposition leaders at the time.