Mob attacks Muslim family during Holi in India

A video circulating the media shows the attackers mercilessly beating the men and an elderly woman


News Desk March 23, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

A mob consisting of 20 men attacked a Muslim family and vandalised their two-storey residence in the Indian city of Gurugram on Thursday, Times of India reported.

Armed with sticks, spears and hockey sticks, the group arrived at the house of the 32-year-old Mohammad Dilshad.

In a complaint later filed by the Dilshad stated that the mob began pelting stones at his residence and damaging the three motorbikes parked outside. Scared for their life, the men of the house sent the women and children to the second-floor terrace after the mob successfully stormed inside.

The police later arrested one person in connection with the attack.

Local Deputy Commissioner of Police, Himanshu Garg, said, "We are constantly in touch with the victims, we have enhanced the police presence in the area."

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A video circulating the media shows the attackers mercilessly beating the men and an elderly woman, while the girls and boys cry out for help pressing against the iron door of the roof to bar the mob's entry.

Dilshad, who is originally from Baghpat of the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He runs a shop selling air coolers in the area.

The attacked residence, which he owns, was let out by him to his uncle, Mohammad Sajid. Dilshad and his family were visiting their relatives during Holi at the time of the attack.

He said at around 3PM, he had gone out to play cricket with neighbours in an open area nearby. This is when they were approached by nine youths on three motorbikes who shouted, "What are you doing here? Go to Pakistan."

Following the confrontation, they wrapped up their game and returned home. However, the youth soon arrived at their residence around 5-5:30PM, this time bringing reinforcements.

The two-storey house has two rooms and an open kitchen on the ground floor, with one room on the first floor. “The attackers rushed into one of the rooms on the ground floor, opened a cupboard and took away Rs 25,000, one gold chain and a pair of earrings,” said Sameera (30), one of the women. “We, the adults, took shelter on the first-floor terrace and locked the door. The attackers tried to smash it but failed. So they broke in through a window, reached the terrace, and mercilessly beat me on the head and body. I don't remember what happened afterwards, as I fell unconscious," said Sajid.

"They threw stones at our home, broke our vehicles and then stormed in. We sent our daughters and younger women to the second-floor terrace as we feared for their modesty. They brutally beat me, my uncle and my elderly mother on the first-floor terrace. We had called up the cops several times, but they only reached after the attackers left. Then they took the injured to hospital," wrote Dilshad in his complaint, which claims 12 people, including women and children, were injured.

The horrific ordeal went on for 15 minutes. The 21-year-old Danishta, who recorded the whole incident in three videos, said that the attackers only fled after they realised they were being taped, fearing that their faces had been identified.

The police arrived at 6:30, approximately an hour after the attacker left. They immediately called for backup after witnessing a large number of people outside Dilshad's residence and the intensity of the attack.

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Based on Dilshad’s complaint, an FIR was registered at the local police station against unknown attackers, under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (unlawful assembly), 452 (trespassing), 506(criminal intimidation) and 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC on Thursday night. One of the accused was arrested but his name could not be ascertained. “A case has been registered and we’ve identified most of the accused. Our teams are conducting raids and will arrest them soon. It was a brawl between two groups," said Police Commissioner Muhammad Akil.

All the injured were taken to the AIIMS trauma centre in Delhi and discharged on Friday morning.

The following evening, a police van with six personnel stood guard outside the residence. The family claimed that they spotted two bikers and a car observing the house.

Muslims are a minority in India who face regular bouts of violence from groups belonging to the Hindu majority.

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