Express News Service

JAIPUR: Five men have been arrested for assaulting a Muslim beggar who was seeking alms along with his family in the Ramganj area of Rajasthan’s Ajmer district. The video depicting the man being assaulted and told to ‘Go to Pakistan’ went viral on social media.

After the video of the incident went viral, the police registered a case against the accused at Ramganj Police station on 24 August. 

In the video, which sparked public outrage, the accused are seen hitting the man accompanied by two children. While beating him, the accused are also seen shouting at him. “Why have you come from Uttar Pradesh? Do you see any shrine here?… I have seen their clip. They steal gold jewellery,” one of the men is heard saying as he accuses the victim and his family of theft. Later, one of the men tells him to “Go to Pakistan. You will get alms there. You won’t get anything here.” 

The footage also shows the assailants slapping the victim several times and attempts to kick him. A little later in the clip, the accused force the victim to hand over all the money he has and are seen frisking him. 

Initially, the accused were arrested under Section 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) which enables easy bail. After public anger intensified, they were booked under stringent sections of the Indian Penal Code which include Section 153 – A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion), 295 A (deliberate, malicious intention of outraging religious beliefs), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint). 

“A video shared on social media shot on August 20 (Friday) shows a beggar being thrashed by some men. While no FIR (first information report) was filed in this case, we took note of the incident ourselves. A probe was ordered,” a police officer said. 

“During the probe, we got to know that one man – Lalit Sharma – assaulted the beggar along with four others. While he was arrested on August 20, four others were arrested the following day. They were produced in court. The accused said they assaulted the man because they were involved in some criminal activity, and they were seeking alms only to not get identified,” he further said. 

The key accused – Lalit Sharma – has been identified as a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Ajmer SP Jagdish Sharma said, “Lalit and his four accomplices have been arrested under Section 151 and we will take tougher action after our probe is completed. Section 151 is a preventive act to ensure that culprits do not repeat their acts. Once our investigation is completed, we will take stronger action.” 

The four others arrested are Surendra alias Sonu, Rohit Sharma, Tejvir, and Shailendra Tak.