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‘Deliberate Misunderstanding’: Mob Assaults Youth on Eid in Birbhum, West Bengal; Family in Fear

Birbhum

With mob lynching incidents increasing, minorities in India now regularly confront news of violence or fear of being targeted next, resulting in societal numbness towards these crimes. A recent incident occurred in Noapora gaon, Birbhum, West Bengal where Tufan Sekh (19), a resident of Melerdanga, was assaulted by a mob, tied to a pole and beaten with bamboo sticks. The incident took place on 17th June, the day of Eid-Ul-Adha.

An FIR has been registered against unknown people with the confirmation that the police have arrested 9-10 individuals whose identities have not been released yet.

“He was riding his bike with one of our family members (Talib Sekh), on his way to a relative’s house to distribute the sacrificial meat, one of the meat packets must have dropped out on the road from the main bag. My brother made a U-turn to retrieve it and was immediately surrounded by local residents. They accused him of deliberately throwing it in front of the Hindu temple to hurt their sentiments. This accusation makes no sense; if it had been his intention, he wouldn’t have returned to search the missing packet”, says Bilal Mohammad Sekh, elder brother of the survivor.

Bilal Sekh, who works as a labourer further adds how the mob destroyed the bike, and brutally thrashed Tufan, resulting in injuries to his back and shoulder. Talib was beaten on the legs causing severe swelling.

“The area where this incident happened is predominantly Muslim with only one Hindu family residing there, why would he do this in a Muslim majority area and not a Hindu one?” Bilal questioned.

The Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) is actively overseeing the case and keeping a close watch on its development.

The Observer Post contacted the State Secretary of APCR, West Bengal Chapter, Sheikh Khurshid Alam who said, “The team visited the location and collected the FIR from Margram Police Station, Birbhum. There have been inputs that some people of a certain organisation are trying to flare up the matter into a communal issue. Our local member also informed us that the internet was not working within the periphery of the incident site. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad also led a protest against the West Bengal police, accusing them of favouring Muslims”

Maulana Md. Shafiqul Islam, Vice President of Birbhum District All Bengal Imam Muazzin Association and Charitable Trust, released a statement about the misunderstanding concerning sacrificial meat in Margram Village on Eid-Ul-Adha day. He said that the situation is now normal and that the two boys involved are safe and healthy, noting that the police have been impartial, arresting several miscreants.

The statement also warned that some RSS members are trying to incite unrest. The imam also urged the community not to believe any rumours, appreciating the administration’s vigilance. He requested imams to share this message during Juma and encourage calm.

Bilal Mohammad, the brother of Tufan, mentioned his fear that talking to the media might backfire and jeopardize achieving justice in the case.

“We are labourers, ma’am. I don’t want to suffer more, though right now I am fighting against what happened to my brother but later I don’t want any trouble and I can’t afford the lawyer’s fees as I don’t earn much. But I am grateful to the police administration for being so cooperative”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sheikh Khurshid Alam

    June 21, 2024 at 9:49 am

    Thanks to Sister Saher for this prompt and accurate reporting.

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