‘Thook chaato, bolo Jai Shri Ram’: Muslim man assaulted by BJP workers

A 32-year-old Muslim, Zeeshan Khan, suffering from bipolar disorder was assaulted, made to lick his own spit, and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by suspected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Dhanbad on Friday, reports Indian Express.

The incident took place at a protest by the BJP against the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Punjab. The party’s Dhanbad MLA Raj Sinha and Dhanbad MP P N Singh were among the leaders present at the protest.

Zeeshan was passing by the spot when he allegedly used abusive words for one of the BJP leaders. He was immediately surrounded by a group of suspected BJP workers and supporters who started assaulting him. He was then made to squat, spit on the road and lick it and chant Jai Shri Ram.

After a video of the incident went viral on social media, Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Singh said, “We are inquiring into the matter and Dhanbad police are investigating it and have registered an FIR. One person has been arrested.” He said it was not immediately clear whom Zeeshan abused.

The FIR was filed on the complaint of Zeeshan’s younger brother Rehan Khan.

Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Rehan said his brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 10 years ago. “What kind of society is this. Even if my brother said something, did he deserve to be treated like this – made to lick his spit and forced to say Jai Shri Ram. My brother has been suffering from mental illness since 2012,” Rehan, 28, said.

In his complaint to the police, Rehan said, “…My elder brother Zeeshan Khan was passing by the city center between 1-2 pm where BJP members were protesting at the Gandhi statue area. My brother was chased and beaten by the mob… and was forced to lick spit and asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’… My brother is injured… I plead that legal action be taken and justice be done with my brother.”

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