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Haryana

GURGAON-‘Mob did not spare even kids’

March 24, 2019 06:26 AM

COURTESY HT MARCH 24

Leena Dhankhar leena.dhankhar@hindustantimes.com
‘Mob did not spare even kids’
ATTACK ON GURUGRAM FAMILY Victims say they are living in fear, with locals pressuring them to compromise
A VIDEO SHOT BY ONE OF THE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ESCAPED TO THE ROOF SHOWED THE MEN RAINING BLOWS ON SOME OF THE VICTIMS

From page 01 GURUGRAM: When the mob of men, some of whom were inebriated, barged into Mohammad Sajid’s house in Gurugram on Thursday evening with rods and sticks, the adults screamed for the children to hide. Some members of the household fled to the terrace, and others tried to reason with the men. Three of the children hid in an almirah, but, family members say, they were pulled out and thrashed in a terrifying half-anhour ordeal, parts of which were captured on a mobile phone and went viral on social media on Friday.

YOGENDRA KUMAR/HT PHOTO
A view of the victims’ residence, into which 15 people barged into and attacked the family members, including children over an argument. The group broke the windowpanes and damaged the property of the victims with iron rods and sticks.
Although the incident started with a minor altercation when some of the boys from Sajid’s extended family were playing cricket (and the ball hit one of the attackers), it rapidly acquired communal tones with the mob reportedly asking members of Sajid’s family to go to Pakistan.

On Saturday, members of the family said none of their neighbours came to their rescue because the area is predominantly Hindu. They said they were considering moving out.

At least 12 members of the joint family, including children as young as one and a half years old, were injured when the mob of 8-10 men allegedly used sticks, water pipes and iron rods to attack them following the altercation on the day of Holi. A video shot by one of the family members who escaped to the roof showed the men raining blows on some of the victims as other women relatives cried for help. The children are still living in fear that it could happen again and wonder whether, if it did, the mob would burn them alive as some of the attackers had threatened to before leaving the house on Thursday.

“I was playing with my cousin when my mother shouted to lock the room and hide in the almirah. I pulled my brother and tried to lock the almirah but within a few minutes three uncles came and pulled us out. One of them threw me on the bed and slapped me. I begged for mercy but two of them hit me with sticks and kicked my face,” said one of the children, a six-year-old girl, displaying her injuries. Himanshu Garg, DCP (south), said the children were taken to hospital and were given first aid. The incident triggered strong political criticism of the Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and the BJP that rules Haryana. “Every patriotic Indian is disgusted by the video of a family in Gurugram being mercilessly beaten by hooligans. The RSS/ BJP channelises bigotry & hatred for political power,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said the incident showed parallels between BJP leaders and German dictators Adolf Hitler. “Hitler too would unleash goons to stay in power,” he said in tweets written in Hindi. Khattar did not make a statement till Saturday evening but Jawahar Yadav, BJP state in-charge, publicity and media, said incident was a case of “a simple brawl between two groups of people” that was being “blown out of proportion

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