The attack on an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad’s Loni was not communally charged and the complaint in this regard did not mention that he was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram, according to police officials.
On Tuesday, police arrested two more accused, Kalu Gujjar and Adil, in connection with the case. Altogether, three arrests have been made. The main accused, Praveen Gujjar, was held on Sunday. He had been previously involved in a murder case, and assault and arms act cases.
After the video of the attack went viral, allegations surfaced the man was targeted because he was Muslim. However, investigations pointed to a different direction. The probe suggested that the incident was related to the sale of a tabeez (amulet) that the victim, Abdul Samad Saifi, claimed had magical effects.
Earlier, he had publicly alleged that the attackers offered him an auto ride, took him to an isolated spot, brutally beat him up, and forced him to chant Jai Shri Ram.
“The main reason was the fight over the amulet which Saifi had given to Praveen. Praveen was disappointed that it didn’t work. Saifi and Praveen are known to each other. Praveen only called others who also were agitated that amulet given to them by Saifi didn’t work,” said Ghaziabad Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja.
The incident came to the fore after a video went viral showing a man hitting Saifi and trying to cut off his beard even as he tries to evade the blows.
According to police, Saifi known to sell amulets in Loni village. Following the assault, he released a video on social media alongside a local Samajwadi Party leader, alleging that he was abducted by the two men who took him to an abandoned jungle area and began hitting him.
“The assault lasted for nearly four hours after which they let me go,” Saifi added.
Iraj Raja said the accused were arrested under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 295A for the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class.