A Muslim family was assaulted with rods and looted by a mob that hurled communal slur at them on a moving train in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. Men, women and even a child with disabilities are in a hospital in Farukkhabad in western Uttar Pradesh after the attack by men who barged into their coach.
According to a police officer, eight members of the family are injured – some seriously.
Three persons have been picked up for questioning but no arrests have been made yet.
The family of 10 was returning to their home town after a wedding.
It is not clear what provoked the attack. Some reports suggested that the family objected when some of the attackers tried to snatch a mobile phone from the disabled child. An incensed mob then started thrashing the family, said the police.
Some reports suggested that a young man molested a girl of the family and was beaten up, after which he called reinforcements to “take revenge”. His friends and people from his village allegedly climbed on board when the train stopped at the next station.
What is known is that the family, fearing an attack, had bolted their compartment after the argument but more than a dozen men forced their way in.
“They kept beating us… they robbed us, took away our jewellery,” said a woman of the family at the hospital.
A man wept that his little boy was “slapped and thrashed”.
The police, claimed the family, couldn’t arrive in time as the emergency 100 helpline was not working.
The incident is chillingly similar to another attack last month on teenager Junaid Khan and his friends on a train in Haryana after an argument over a seat. Junaid, 16, was stabbed to death by a mob that also called him and his companions “beef-eaters”.