Fact-Check: 'Hindutva goons' did not thrash Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh's Loni
The Ghaziabad Police and the Uttar Pradesh government have rejected the claim that Abdul Samad was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' altogether.
On Monday, media outlets reported extensively over a viral video from the Loni area of Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district which showed an elderly Muslim man being thrashed by a group of people.
The video also showed the assailants chopping off Bulandshahr resident Abdul Samad's beard after attacking him with sticks and thrashing him.
Many media reports claimed that Samad was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' by his attackers. A purported video clip of Samad without audio synchronisation was also shared widely to claim that how Hindutva elements targeted an aged Muslim man.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asadudduin Owaisi took to Twitter to claim that in Hindutva ideology, attacking frail elderly men or little teenagers is seen as bravery.
Muslims' right to dignity is being snatched by Hindutvadi goons, he claimed.
The narrative, however, seems to have been manipulated. The Ghaziabad Police and the Uttar Pradesh government have rejected the claim that Abdul Samad was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' altogether.
According to the Ghaziabad police, the victim, Abdul Samad, sold amulets to some boys in the Hajipur village.
The Ghaziabad Police statement says, "He (Samad) entered the Loni border on June 5. From there, he went to a bike to the house of one of the accused named Parvesh. Parvesh had called Samad to his residence. Samad knew the boys beforehand. He has sold some amulets to boys from the village. Sometime later, other accused -- identified as Kallu, Poli, Arif, Adil and Mushahid -- arrived at the spot. They attacked Samad, as the amulet provided by him apparently did not do wonders as they had hoped for."
The police said all the accused have been traced. Three of them -- Parvesh, Kallu and Adil -- have been arrested. The other accused are expected to be arrested shortly.
On Monday afternoon, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Information Advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi revealed that the life of a pregnant woman was destroyed using black magic and an amulet.
He also said that two Muslim youths were among those who thrashed Abdul Samad.
Claiming that there was a conspiracy to defame Lord Ram and trigger riots in Uttar Pradesh, Tripathi called upon the state police to take cognizance of the fabricated story and take action on those behind it.