Hindutva goons assaulted the imam of a mosque and cut off his beard in Anwa village in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The Hindutva goons barged into the mosque and beat up the Imam, Zakir Sayyed Khawaja, for refusing to chant the Hindu religious slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
The Imam told the media that the incident took place on Sunday at around 7.30 pm when he was sitting inside the mosque reciting the holy Quran.
He said that the Hindutva goons entered the mosque with cloth over their faces and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while he was reciting the Quran. When the Imam refused to do as he was told, three individuals took him outside the mosque and beat him up. The Imam said his attackers used a chemical-laced cloth to make him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he realized that his beard had been cut off.
When people arrived at the mosque for the prayer at 8 pm, they found him lying outside in an unconscious state. They rushed him to a government hospital in Sillod. He was later shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Aurangabad where he is currently undergoing treatment.
After the incident came to light, police arrived at Anwa village where the mosque is located and started investigation into the incident. A case was registered at the Paradh police station in Bhokardan against the unidentified individuals under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi took to social media to demand Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendr Fadnavis to take strict action against the attackers.