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“My Son is Depressed”: Father of Assaulted Muslim Teen Slams Police Negligence in Kushinagar Case

In Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, two Muslim teenagers were brutally assaulted by a group of men on 4th December. One of the victims was stripped naked, subjected to physical abuse, and forced into a pond on a freezing night. 

Abdul Fahad, a 9th-grade student, and his friend Sheheryar were mercilessly beaten by a group of more than six adult men. The incident reported from the Ramkola Police Station occurred after the perpetrators took the duo to the outskirts of the village, and threatened and assaulted them.

After his daily school hours, Fahad got off the bus, only to encounter a group of men accompanied by Nitin, a former classmate of the victim as reported by his father Aftab Alam. They then yanked him aboard their bike and took him to a remote area in the same village. 

One of the assailants possessed a revolver, using which he threatened them. Sheheryar was forced into calling Fahad’s mother, falsely claiming they were occupied with schoolwork. The perpetrators recorded and shared the video on social media from a fake account, which had come to light only recently. 

The video depicts the 15-year-old victim screaming in distress, while one aggressor put his foot over the victim’s chest and others repeatedly struck him with belts. He was beaten with belts, shoes, sticks, and other weapons as seen in the video. The video also reveals that one of them even fired using the revolver while in the location. 

The victim’s father, Aftab Alam, told The Observer Post that the boy was told to keep his mouth shut, threatening to kill him if he were to reveal any information regarding the incident. In the following days, the perpetrators would follow him to his school or on his way back even in buses, creating a sense of fear in him. The incident and the threats that followed traumatized the victim, who eventually stopped going to school. As this continued, he told about the incident after his family asked him the reason for not attending school.

“Fahad is fine now, but he is depressed. We’ve stopped sending him to school for now, since he is still disturbed by it, said Alam. 

Alam, who lives in the Middle East, returned home only a week ago and, upon learning of the brutality, he immediately decided to lodge a complaint. 

In conversation with The Observer Post, Alam accused the police of negligence, stating that he had to visit the police station multiple times to register the case. The police not only refused to register the case initially but also reportedly attempted to persuade him to take back the case, and close the matter to avoid  “consequences”. 

He said that he approached the police and reported the incident who assured him that the FIR would be filed and would be registered by night. As per their directions, when he went to the station the next morning to collect a copy of it, one of the police told him that they had put it on hold due to pressure. Later, two constables tried convincing him to compromise.

“I had to go to the police station 2-3 times to register a case. They tried to convince me to compromise,” said Alam.

An FIR was finally registered on the 28th of December after consistent requests from Alam.

The assault was purportedly triggered by allegations that Fahad gave Nitin’s sister a letter, and chocolates, and proposed to her, accusing him of purported “molestation” — an allegation his father denied, saying that they are trying to frame him over false claims. 

“They are trying to frame my boy giving it the angle of ‘girl’s matter’, saying he had proposed to his sister but this is all made up,” Alam said.

Alam said that the police station in charge is a Thakur (upper caste), the same caste as most of the perpetrators. He accused the police of prejudice. Alam said that all the perpetrators except Nitin were adults and some of them had criminal records.

“Those men have crime records. Two of them are even charged with murder,” he said.

The police officer, who neglected the case initially, filed a case after the video went viral on social media. 

Following this, Additional Superintendent of Police, Kushinagar, released a video byte of their “immediate action” saying that four people have been arrested regarding the viral video of beating a teenager. 

“Further investigation is underway” he said in the video posted on the evening of 28th December. 

The FIR includes Nitin Maddheshiya, Aditya Sinha, Aryan Sinha, Arjun, Yuvraj, Chandan and four more miscreants as the accused, of whom, only four have been arrested. Alam is reported to have said that the substance of the complaint has been changed three times since he initially wrote it, indicating police interference to lessen the charges against the perpetrators.

As per the FIR, the accused are charged with section 147 (rioting — for assembly of five or more with the common intent to engage in violent conduct), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of IPC. 

The accused, however, are also not charged under section 96 for possession of a weapon with the intent of using it in a crime.

The Ramkola police station has been unresponsive to inquiries after initially disconnecting a call with a correspondent from The Observer Post

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