In a shocking incident, a 68-year-old Muslim man was abused and thrashed for allegedly selling beef in Assam's Biswanath district on Sunday, April 7. In a video doing rounds on the internet, the man with a grey beard, identified as Shaukat Ali, can be seen kneeling in deep slush surrounded by an irate mob.
The Muslim man was beaten and forced to eat pork. In the clip, the mob is heard asking the man, "Why were you selling beef? Do you have the license to do so?" The crowd proceeded to demand that Shaukat Ali declare his nationality, asking if he is Bangladeshi or if he has a National Register of Citizen (NRC) certificate.
In a bid to weed out illegal citizens, Assam is implementing the NRC. The final draft of the NRC, published last year, saw the names of 40.07 lakh people of the total 3,29,91,384 applicants missing in the list. The BJP has promised to implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country.
Confirming the incident, Rakesh Roushan, Superintendent of Police (Biswanath), said one of Shaukat's relatives has filed an FIR and an investigation is underway. The Assam Police are on the lookout for the men seen in the viral video. However, the police have said it was "not a matter of communal tension". "The miscreants misbehaved with not only him but also another person of a different community," the SP stated.
Ali has sustained multiple injuries and is being treated in a local hospital in Assam. For the last 35 years, Ali has been running an eatery in the area, according to the local police.
Asaduddin Owaisi slams incident
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi have slammed the incident on Twitter, writing "I know many people who feel they're desensitized because of the number of lynchings in the last five years. I am not, each video infuriates me and saddens me." Owaisi further added, "It's irrelevant that beef is legal in Assam, lynching an innocent old man is illegal in every part of India."
Beef eating is not allowed in Assam. The state has a complex law on cattle slaughter. According to the Assam Cattle Preservation Act of 1950, the slaughter of cattle over 14 years of age or those incapable of work or for use in breeding is allowed. The law stipulates that such cattle will be given a "fit-for-slaughter certificate" by a doctor of the state husbandry and animal welfare department. Meanwhile, the law in Assam does not distinguish between buffaloes and cows or bulls.
NOTE: International Business Times cannot verify the authenticity of the video.