Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
A Muslim bangle seller in Madhya Pradesh's Indore was thrashed by a mob. The incident was recorded in a video that went viral. In the video, the violent crowd is heard hurling statements like 'He is a Muslim', 'Dare you come in a Hindu area again', 'Everyone hit at least once'.
But what came as a shocker was the arrest of the victim and the justification of the mob violence by state's home minister.
Initially, the local Banganga police station didn't take any action saying, "We saw the video but didn't take action because no complaint was lodged." It was only after the victim lodged a complaint that the police moved and filed case under 14 different IPC sections.
Bombay Bazaar Incident
While beating up Tasleem the bangle seller, one person can be heard saying: "Thrash him to avenge the Bombay bazaar incident." What happened in Bombay Bazaar? Days before the bangle-seller incident, two girls and a man from the Valmiki community were allegedly assaulted and harassed in Indore's Bombay bazaar. Their Aadhaar cards were forcefully checked. The police made several arrests in that case.
How Did Authorities Act
The police didn't act on the video at first. They registered an FIR only after the victim filed it.
A man had gone to sell bangles in the Banganga area. Some people assaulted him. Based on the complaint, the police registered a case. The police identified the accused. Three of them were beating up the victim and provoking others. Accused are Rakesh Panwar, Rajkumar Bhatnagar, and Vivek Vyas.Ashutosh Bagri, Indore SP
Madhya Pradesh's Home Minister Narottam Mishra's comment gave another twist to the case.
"He was in the neighbourhood selling bangles while using a Hindu name. However, he was from a different community. Two Aadhaar cards have also been recovered from him. He used to sell bangles to Hindu women that's how the dispute arose."Narottam Mishra, Home Minister, Madhya Pradesh
He also said that bitterness arises if a person hides his name and religion. But does a mob have the right to take law in their hands if a person possesses two different IDs?
Here's what Tasleem said on the allegations of possessing two different AADHAAR cards.
Both are my IDs. When the first ID was made in my native village, I had used a name that I was called by. But later, when the AADHAAR card was made, I put in my actual name.Tasleem, Bangle Seller
After the video went viral, people protested outside Indore's Central Kotwali police station demanding immediate FIR on the accused. However, the police said that the protesters created ruckus in the police station and therefore, FIRs were registered against the protesters as well.
Indore Collector suspects that the protests were instigated by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Popular Front of India (PFI), both of which are under intelligence surveillance.
Case Against the Bangle Seller
Amid all the developments, there was no case registered against the victim, Tasleem. But this changes 24 hours later when he was arrested under POCSO and nine other IPC sections. A minor girl complained that Tasleem had molested her.
If proven guilty, Tasleem should be punished by law. But what gives a mob the right to assault him?
If he was beaten for fake IDs, why did the crowd want 'revenge' for the Bombay Bazaar case?
Why did the police delay their action on the viral video?
Why did Narottam Mishra justify 'mobocracy'?
If these questions are not answered then we will be forced to ask Janab, Aise Kaise?