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Family beaten-up at Aligarh Railway Station: Was it communally motivated?

By Vishal S
|

Aligarh, Sep 19: A mob of around 20-25 people reportedly thrashed six members of a family at the Aligarh Railway Station. At least two members of the family were injured in an alleged mob attack and have been admitted to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at the Aligarh Muslim University.

While the official statement by the authorities on what led to the incident is still awaited, students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) staged a protest claiming that the incident was communal and that the family were attacked because they were 'Muslims'.

Image for representation only

The attack took place following a fight Sunday as the family of Afsana Bano was getting off a train while some other passengers were trying to get into the same compartment, according to a complaint registered with the railway police.

[Jharkhand lynching: Police drop murder charges against 11 accused in charge sheet]

A while later, about 30 people reached there and attacked Afsana Begum's family members, their complaint said, a PTI report said.

Aligarh Muslim University students have dubbed it an attempt to lynch them. On Monday, former AMU student union president Salman Imtiaz led a protest march. The AMU students have also submitted a memorandum to the authorities which states that the attack was "a deliberate attempt to foment communal violence".

A report published in The Wire quoted the family as saying that they were beaten up by a mob of around 15 men who didn't specify why they were being violent.

The Wire report further quotes an eyewitness, Farhan Zuberi, as saying that they were attacked because they were Muslim.

"They were getting down from the train and suddenly a group of 15 attacked them. They were wearing saffron and screaming slogans. They were attacked because they were Muslim," Zuberi was quoted as saying.

[Jharkhand Lynching is 11th hate crime incident in 2019: Report]

Afsana Begum's family had come from Kannauj for her son Shafiq's medical treatment. The police said that the victims' statement had been recorded and the required action would be taken. The police were non-committal and the Deputy SP denied that it was a case of mob lynching. GRP inspector Yashpal Singh has assured that the culprits would be booked.

Some have blamed right-wing groups for the attack. The name of Dharma Samaj Mahavidhyalya in Aligarh has also cropped up in reports.

A report in The Hindu quotes Sahim Khan, at whose house the family was supposed to stay, as saying that "They (mob) came, targeted the family whose women were wearing burqas and ran away when the police chased them."

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