Two men were arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad after a video of one of them thrashing a Muslim boy who had entered a temple to drink water on Thursday, 11 March, went viral.
In the video, the main accused, Shringi Yadav from Bihar, can be seen asking the boy his and his father’s name. He then asked the boy why he had entered the temple, to which the latter replied that he wanted to drink water. Yadav can then be seen beating up the boy even as he pleaded for mercy.
Soon after the arrest, the Ghaziabad police tweeted: “Taking cognisance of the viral video, a team was formed and the accused, Shringi Nandan Yadav, son of Ashwani Kumar Yadav hailing from Gopalpur police station limits of Bhagalpur, was arrested.”
“An FIR has been registered. We are investigating the matter,” SP (Rural) Iraj Raja told ANI.
Further, police said that that co-accused Shivanand had shot the footage of the assault and an FIR had been filed against him and the main accused under Sections 504, 505, 323 and 352 of the IPC, The Indian Express reported.
According to a NDTV report, the police said that Shringi Yadav is an engineering graduate from Bhagalpur who is unemployed and “was staying in the temple for the last three months.”
‘Does Water Have a Religion?’: Boy’s Father
Speaking to The Indian Express, the boy’s father said that he was feeling thirsty, saw a tap in the temple and started drinking water from it. “He was badly beaten up and humiliated. Does water have a religion? I don’t think there is any religion that can refuse water to a thirsty person,” he added.
He further claimed that earlier the temple used to be open for everybody “but that has changed over the past few years. We hope our son gets justice and such people do not attack another child.”
Meanwhile, Anil Yadav, member of the temple management committee told The Indian Express, “The temple takes full responsibility for the incident. There is a conspiracy; that boy was not alone… People in the area just want to vitiate the atmosphere. We are extending cooperation with police. Shringi is an engineer who lost his job during COVID. He watched our videos and decided to help us in the temple by managing our IT cell. He’s a good man; we will make sure he’s free.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express, NDTV)