Muslim man thrashed, forced to eat pork for 'selling beef' in Assam's Biswanath; local top cop says 'not matter of communal tension'

The incident, which took place on Sunday, came to light after two videos shared on Twitter showed the man sitting in knee-deep mud, begging to be let go, while men around him spoke to him in threatening tones.

FP Staff April 09, 2019 12:44:12 IST
Muslim man thrashed, forced to eat pork for 'selling beef' in Assam's Biswanath; local top cop says 'not matter of communal tension'
  • The man was identified as 68-year-old Shaukat Ali by police

  • Ali was also forced to eat pork as punishment for allegedly selling beef

  • The incident, which took place on Sunday, came to light after two videos of the violence were shared on Twitter

A mob in Assam's Biswanath district heckled and beat up a Muslim man on Sunday on the suspicion that he was selling beef, reports said.

The police identified the victim as 68-year-old Shaukat Ali, NDTV reported, quoting sources as having said that Ali was also forced to eat pork as "punishment" for allegedly selling beef.

The incident came to light after two videos shared on Twitter showed the man sitting in knee-deep mud, begging for mercy, while the men around him spoke to him in threatening tones.

"Are you Bangladeshi? Is your name in the NRC (National Register of Citizens)?" a man can be heard shouting at Ali.

Ali was injured in the mob violence and is being treated at a local hospital, reported Guwahati Plus. The local police at Biswanath Charali said no FIRs have been lodged yet.

Muslim man thrashed forced to eat pork for selling beef in Assams Biswanath local top cop says not matter of communal tension

A screenshot of the video, showing Shaukat Ali being heckled in Assam. Twitter/@Muzakki82091009

However, Scroll reported that an FIR has been filed against "unknown miscreants" based on two separate complaints lodged by one of Ali's relatives and one Kamal Thapa, the manager of a market where Ali ran an eatery.

Biswanath district police chief Rakesh Roushan said it was "not a matter of communal tension".

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in incidents of Hindu nationalists targeting Muslims on the suspicion of transporting or selling beef. It must be noted that beef is neither banned in Assam nor the rest of the North East.

The Assam Cattle Preservation Act of 1950 allows the slaughter of cattle over 14 years, or those incapable of work, or for use in breeding. However, such cattle need to have a certificate from a Department of Animal Husbandry doctor before being killed.

This is not the first incident of violence by gau rakshaks in Bishwanath. In August 2018, a 48-year-old man was beaten to death on suspicion of being a cow smuggler at the Diplonga Tea Estate in Biswanath's Sootea constituency.

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