After the video of a 72-year-old Muslim man, Abdul Samad Saifi, being brutally beaten up in Ghaziabad’s Loni went viral, many shared the video claiming the incident of being a communally motivated hate crime.
However, denying such allegations, the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad filed an FIR on Tuesday, 15 June, against nine entities including Twitter Inc and Twitter Communications India Pvt for having done nothing to prevent the video from getting viral.
The Ghaziabad Police noted in their FIR, “There is no communal angle to the incident in Loni where a man was thrashed and his beard was chopped off,” news agency ANI reported.
The police added, “The following entities – The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Shama Mohammed, Saba Naqvi, Maskoor Usmani, Salman Nizami – without checking the fact, started giving communal colour to the incident on Twitter and suddenly they started spreading messages to disrupt the peace and bring differences between the religious communities.”
What is the Incident?
On his way to Hajipur Bheta in UP’s Ghaziabad district on the afternoon of 5 June, Abdul Samad Saifi, was allegedly abducted by a young auto driver in the guise of giving a ride. But what was supposed to be a short auto ride, was followed by hours of violence.
Seventy-two-year-old Saifi narrated the incident as said in the video, and alleged that there were five men who abducted him, kicked him ruthlessly, beat him up, put a pistol to his head, stole the Rs 1,200 he had on him, forced him to Chant Jai Sri Ram, cut his beard, made him see videos of other Muslims being attacked, and boasted that they had killed many Muslims before.
An FIR was registered by the police under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentionally insulting to break public peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 295A (deliberate malicious acts to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
While the FIR, which The Quint has a copy of, was registered on 7 June, the fifth section regarding outraging religious feelings was added later.
Meanwhile, the police noted in the FIR, “The victim Abdul Samad Sufi and the accused (Parvesh Gujjar) have known each other for a long time. The victim sold a tabeez (amulet) to the key accused with the promise that it will bring him prosperity but he (Parvesh) complained that it had an adverse effect on his family. When the amulet did not work, the accused got angry and had beaten the victim,” ANI reported.
‘Will Wait for Investigation to Be Completed’
Journalists Naqvi and Ayyub, in a tweet, said that their comments were based on news reports and that they will wait for the investigation to be completed.
Zubair, who is also a journalist, said that he has deleted the video, adding that victim’s version “do not seem to add up" – based on his conversations with cops and other journalists reporting the issue.
Meanwhile, politician Maksoor Usmani said that the FIR against him cannot curtail his right to speak against "state-orchestrated tyranny".
“The recent FIR that has been lodged against me and five others are not mere personal attacks but a larger message that the government wants to propel that there can be no dissent from civil society, Opposition parties, and independent media houses. No FIRs can curtail my right to speak against the state-orchestrated tyranny being faced by any individual on the basis of caste, creed, community, and culture,” he said, in a statement.