17, Feb 2018 | CJP Team
In brazen act of defiance of any legal authority and complete disregard for possible consequences, goons with alleged affiliation to a senior BJP functionary, first attacked two innocent Muslim youth in Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. They then proceeded to physically assault even policemen who intervened to prevent an escalation of violence. And just when you think it couldn’t get worse, a family member of the said senior BJP leader intervened and pleaded with the cops to let off his men. Unfortunately for him, all this was captured on video by the cops themselves and now the perpetrators have nowhere to hide.
In the video, Nanak Chand Agrawal, who according to The Times of India, is the brother of BJP National General Secretary Anil Jain, can be seen pleading with Firozabad Superintendent of Police (City) Rajesh Singh and Deputy Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh, to let off his rogue supporters who attacked two Muslim men and Station House Officer (SHO) Lokesh Bhati of Firozabad Uttar police station. So far, Dheeraj Parashar, Uday Thakur and Lucky Garg alias Nakul, along with 20 other unidentified persons have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
You can watch the video here:
In the video, the Dy SP can be seen asking Agrawal, “What compelled you to come to the police station,” to which Nanak Chand responds saying, “I am bound by certain obligations.” When the police officers point out that not only did the goons attack innocent people, but also policemen doing their duty, Nanak Chand can be heard saying, “We will control them henceforth, just give us one chance. Please let them off this once. They are my responsibility. I will handle them.” Nanak Chand goes on to term the assault ‘a misunderstanding‘ enraging the officers present. SP, Rajesh Singh lashes out saying, “There is no misunderstanding. They are goons,” and points out that the attackers had attacked policemen in Ramgarh in an earlier instance.
The video goes on to show the tough stand taken by the cops. “Today, the city came close to burning like Kasganj. If the Thana Adhyaksh (SHO) is attacked and is stopped from discharging his duties, how can we allow it? The SHO is the symbol of the state. It is through him that you are able to govern. We will not withdraw the case at any cost,” thunders the outraged SP.
Charges against the accused
The accused have been booked under Sections 147 (for rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant to deter him from doing his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duties), 31(A) of IPC in an FIR filed by Firozabad Uttar Police Station SHO on February 16, 2018 in which he alleged that he was assaulted by these men while he was trying to protect Imran Hussain and Shahji, who were out to get medicines for Imran’s mother. Reportedly, the attackers, on merely seeing the skull caps that Imran was wearing started abusing and assaulting both of them. Imran has lodged a separate FIR describing the incident.
The attack on Imran and Shahji
According to an FIR lodged by Imran Hussain, he was going towards Gandhi Nagar with his friend Shahji Alam at around 7.30 pm on February 15, 2018 to buy medicines for his mother. As soon as they reached near IDBI bank, they were accosted by unknown men who verbally abused them using derogatory slurs for Muslims and asked them to leave the country and flee. When Imran and Shahji requested the attackers not to abuse them, they were physically assaulted. Upon hearing the commotion, some policemen came to help. However, the attackers attacked the policemen too. Imran Hussain termed the attack as communal.
Men in Khaki save the day
SHO Lokesh Bhati was on patrol along with SSI Anil Kumar and SI Sanjay Singh, when the incident took place. They received a radio message about two men from the minority community being assaulted and immediately reached the spot. In his FIR, Bhati recorded, “When we saw that some 5-6 boys were beating up two boys near Pachauri travels, we saved the boys from these attackers. The attackers got infuriated at our intervention and started abusing and pushing us. At the same time, they called about 15-20 unidentified acquaintances on the spot intensifying their attack and obstructed us from doing our duty.” He noted further in the FIR that because of the disturbance that ensued, the nearby shops had to pull down their shutters. Further, that as Bhati saw the situation was worsening, he called the SP, and briefed him about the situation. On receiving this complaint on phone, forces from other thanas of the city also reached the spot and prevented it from escalating into a full blown communal riot.
Highlighting the rogue nature of the assailants and their connections to the ruling dispensation, Firozabad SP Rajesh Singh said, “Lucky and group attacked the two men just because they were wearing skull caps. If these men can assault a police officer in public, imagine what they can do with the public.” He was drawing attention to the fact that the police had records that Lucky Garg was booked for attempting to murder a government officer in Dakshin police jurisdiction in 2010.
Trying to give the attack a twist, BJP Vice President, Rakesh Pal Singh said, “Police are trying to favour a particular community. The two men were harassing girls, and BJP workers were only protesting against this.” It is notable that one of the accused, Lucky Garg, has also fought a corporation election in the past.
The coming to power of Yogi Adityanath government in the State of Uttar Pradesh has been disastrous for people from vulnerable sections especially Muslims, Dalits and women. On the one hand they are being killed in encounters in the name of controlling crimes, on the other a reign of terror has been let loose by their goons acting like private militias trying to enforce Hindutva by hook or crook.
Feature Image courtesy Firozabad Police