The Muslim men were allegedly beaten as revenge for violence in northeast Delhi last week
Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh:
Two Muslim men were brutally assaulted, allegedly by right-wing thugs as revenge for the violence that hit parts of Delhi last week, in western Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district on Monday. One of the men who was assaulted has also claimed the attackers abused them with religious slurs and accused them of cow slaughter. They were also threatened acid attacks, he further alleged.
In shocking videos that emerged online today, a group of six to seven men can be seen surrounding the two victims and repeatedly kicking and punching them, even as they cry out in pain and beg for mercy; at one point one of the attackers, a man wearing yellow pants and an orange jacket, grabs a lathi and attacks a man cowering near the rear wheel of a silver car parked by the side of the road.
Continuing to beg for mercy and addressing their attackers as "bhai" (brother), the two men then back up against the car, where they are fenced in and threatened with more violence.
It is unclear who shot the video of the attack, in which some other men can be seen sitting on motorcycles and casually observing the horrific assault.
"We were on our way to the market to buy carrots… you can ask the store. They (the attackers) parked bikes in front of us and dragged us away. There were around six or seven men. They asked us, "You think this is Delhi?" one of the men told reporters after the attack.
He also said that his friend and he had been dragged to a location where others were waiting with chains and weapons.
"We had nothing to do with the Delhi violence," he said, adding, "We're all brothers here".
Bulandshahr Police are investigating the incident but have played it down, for now, as a "brawl" and speculated it may have been sparked by an incident of eve-teasing. An FIR filed by the police in the matter does not mention any reasons for the attack.
Widespread violence over the citizenship law consumed parts of northeast Delhi last week leaving nearly 50 dead and hundreds injured, as armed goons went on a four-day rampage, burning schools, homes and shops and terrifying residents.
Police sources have said the attackers used WhatsApp groups to organise themselves and conduct targeted strike. The cops, who have been criticised for failing to react decisively and protect residents, have so far arrested five people in connection with the violence.
The citizenship law, over which sustained protests have been mounted nationwide, has been criticised as discriminating against Muslims and violating the Constitution. However, the government says it will help non-Muslim refugees fleeing religious persecution from three Muslim-dominated neighbouring nations.