LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Police late on Thursday arrested three persons, including a Bajrang Dal activist, in connection with the assault on a Muslim man Afsar Ahmad by a mob in Kanpur.
The video of the incident had gone viral on social media on Wednesday where a mob was seen thrashing a man and making him chant 'Jai Shri Ram'. The video also shows the daughter of victim Afsar Ahmad, 45, an e-rickshaw driver, clinging to him and pleading with the mob to spare him. The Muslim man was saved after being escorted by the police.
Those arrested by the Kanpur police included Ajai alias Rajesh Bandwala, Aman Gupta, and Rahul Kumar. While Ajai was named by the victim in his complaint submitted to the police, the other two were identified on the basis of the video going viral on social media.
The police sources claimed that of the three arrested for the assault, Aman was said to be an office-bearer of Bajrang Dal.
The police had filed an FIR against five named persons and eight to 10 unidentified persons for rioting, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt. Following the arrests, workers from right-wing Bajrang Dal thronged the police station on late Thursday night and also staged protests outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Kanpur South), Raveena Tyagi. They left only after the police promised to conduct a fair investigation.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Vikas Pandey, the assault was linked to a dispute between the two neighbouring families from different communities in Kachchi Basti of Barra locality of Kanpur.
Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Kumar Arun told the media persons that the two families had earlier filed complaints against each other.
Ahmad, in his complaint, said: “I was driving my e-rickshaw around 3 pm when the accused started abusing and assaulting me and threatening to kill me and my family. I got saved because of the police.”
The attack reportedly took place just after a meeting of the Bajrang Dal in the area. During the meeting, the Bajrang Dal members claimed that Muslims in the locality were trying to convert a Hindu girl.