Video Producer: Aparna Singh
Video Editor: Karuna Mishra
On 7 May, a Muslim man was brutally assaulted by a right-wing mob in Narsapur, located in Telangana's Medak district, after he allegedly got into an altercation with a gas cylinder delivery boy, Narsapur Police told The Quint on Thursday, 25 May.
Videos of the incident that are now viral on social media show the man, Imran Ahmed, being repeatedly thrashed by a right-wing mob chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. His mother and pregnant sister, Ayesha, desperately try to shield him, but they are also seen getting hurt in the process.
On Thursday – nearly two weeks after the incident – Narsapur Police told The Quint they were informed that Imran's sister had given birth to a baby that was later declared brain dead. The police, however, could not confirm whether the baby's death was caused by an alleged trauma inflicted on the mother.
Tweeting about the incident on Thursday, Amjed Ullah Khan, the president of the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) – a Muslim political party in Telangana – demanded the arrest of all the persons involved in the attack and sought a judicial inquiry into the case.
Narsapur Police, meanwhile, said that Imran's family has not filed a complaint with them so far, and that they would initiate an inquiry as and when they do so.
On 7 May, a gas cylinder delivery boy named Lingam went to Imran's house in Narsapur to deliver a cylinder, Narsapur Circle Inspector Sheikh Lal Mazhar told The Quint.
Imran also owns a small restaurant in the town.
Lingam, who was wearing a Hanuman Mala (a month-long ritual) at the time, asked Imran for the empty cylinder, but the latter said he could return it only the next day. Lingam, however, said he wanted the cylinder then and there – and soon, a verbal altercation ensued between the two.
According to the CI Mazhar, Imran slapped Lingam with his footwear in a fit of rage. Upset, Lingam complained to others who were observing Hanuman Mala at a nearby temple, and they marched to Imran's house.
Ignoring the pleas of Imran's mother, the mob dragged Imran out of the house, and began beating him up on the road.
"There were 10-15 people in the mob, and they began raising 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans. Imran's mother and pregnant sister were caught in the middle. On receiving information about the altercation, we reached the spot in 10-15 minutes, and took Imran and the others into custody," CI Mazhar said.
Viral videos also show the mob raising slogans outside the Narsapur police station.
Speaking to the media at the police station on 7 May, Valdas Mallesh, a BJP leader in the area, said that the scuffle broke out as Imran hit Lingam, who was wearing a Hanuman Mala. "When someone is wearing the Hanuman Mala, he should be treated with respect. It is an attack on our faith," he said.
Who Were Arrested?
Narsapur Police registered a case against Imran under Section 295 (insult to religion) and against 10-15 members of the mob under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (threat to cause grievous hurt), and 504 (intentional insult).
However, the police only arrested Imran, and he was remanded in custody "on the grounds that it would become a religious issue." All the others were served notices and let go. Imran was released on bail shortly after, CI Mazhar said.
The CI added that on 13 May, Imran's sister Ayesha had delivered a baby and was undergoing treatment at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad, where the child was declared brain dead. The reasons for the same are unconfirmed.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA from Karwan, Kausar Mohiuddin, said that the Medak Superintendent of Police apprised him of the matter, saying the police would take action against the persons involved if Imran, Ayesha, or their family files a complaint.
The Quint is trying to reach out to Imran and his family. This story will be updated as and when we receive a response.