A 14-year-old Muslim boy was beaten mercilessly on Friday inside a temple in Ghaziabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Hindustan Times reported.
The incident gained public attention after a video of the 23-year-old temple caretaker, Shringi Nandan Yadav, beating the minor went viral.
The boy’s family said he had gone inside the temple to drink water when the man caught and beat him.
Ghaziabad police on Saturday registered a case against Yadav and Shivanand Saraswati, another caretaker who recorded the incident, and arrested both.
The video shows the caretaker kicking and punching the boy after he revealed his name and also his father’s name. The boy’s father, whose identity is being withheld as per law to protect the child, said the incident took place at around 5pm.
“My son stopped to drink water from a tap located inside the temple as he was thirsty. He was beaten up after they asked his identity. He suffered a head injury. He generally doesn’t venture inside the temple but this time he told me he was just very thirsty. I have asked him not to go there in the future,” said the father, who described himself as a daily-wage earner and scrap seller.
The temple authorities said that they had barred entry of people from non-Hindu communities.
“There are several taps outside the temple from where people drink water. Our caretakers caught the boy spitting inside the temple. They have been arrested and we will seek to legal recourse to get them bail,” said Yati Narsimhanand Saraswati, another caretaker of the temple.
The local police registered an FIR under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and also provisions of the Information Technology Act.
“The prime suspect (Yadav) has been staying in the temple complex for the past three months. Both suspects made the video go viral,” said Iraj Raja, superintendent of police (rural).
Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Priyank Kanoongo, tweeted the picture of the prime suspect on Saturday and said the NCPCR was committed to protecting the rights of the child.
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