TDN World Desk: Not in Assam, or Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan, this time the shocking incident happened at the heart of Kolkata, in Bengal. Muslim men were allegedly assaulted inside a train for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram. The incident has irked the minority Muslims in Bengal. Not only Muslim men were forced to chant Jai Shri Ram, the assaulter also made objection on their skull-cap and growing beard.

This incident took place on Thursday, at broad daylight; few Muslim passengers were attacked while on board a train between Ballygunge and Park Circus station.

The Muslim passengers were asked why despite being Muslims they have boarded the train. The victims are traumatised to encounter such a gruesome situation. While asked on phone, the Sealdah GRP said, ” During the intervening time to get on and get down from train, ruckus has been taken place among passengers. After that the problem has taken shape. Investigation is underway.”

But, the complaint lodged at the GRP police station by the victims gives contrary account. Puber Kalom, a Bengal-based print-media has accessed to the complaint copy.

What happened on that day? The Bengali language media correspondent has talked to the victims. One of the victims Saharul Halder said, ” I work
in a Madrasa in Hooghly district. To join my work place I have boarded a Canning to Sealdah-bound train. At the same compartment few people also boarded who have on their head patches of cloth with “Hindu Samhati” printed on it. They are going to Sradhananda Park at Arhmarst street. They were raising Jai Shri Ram slogans, talking against the Muslims among themselves. Even they were raising slogans like – Remove the Muslims, save the country. Few other people who boarded into the compartment, also joined the group of Hindu Samhati. They were 15 to 20 in numbers. I heard people crying in pain from the adjacent 4-5 compartment. It seemed to me that some people were thrashed and abused in those compartments.

But nothing happened in the compartment I was in until one cadre from Hindu Samhati did enter and sit by me. Judging me by my attire he did well understood that I am a Muslim. When our train came close to Ballygunge, they took on me. Suddenly they attacked me. They said skull-cap, beard will not be tolerated, have to cease wearing loose cloak. Despite me being silent, it didn’t stop them thrashing me. Amid this threatening situation I found that the train has arrived Park Circus platform. To save me I wanted to get down at the Park Circus station. But these people from hardline hindutva organisation were not letting me descend from train. However, assisted by the people at the station I have managed to get down. The local people has taken me to a health care in Park Circus vicinity. After primary treatment there we went to Topsia Police Station. There I saw that I was not the sole victim, there were few other victims who have been subjected to assaults. Each of us was beaten for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram. Thereafter we came to know that the matter will be looked after by rail police as the incident occurred on board train. At last, rail police came and took us to Ballygunge GRP station. There we lodged our complaint. Police affirmed that they are looking into the case.

Following the incident I am stuck with fear. For long time I have been making my journey to Sealdah by train. I did never confront such situation. It is God’s grace that I could escape the worst outcome.

Apart from Saharul Halder, Muhammad Naeem Laskar alongside his three brothers, Motahar Halder and five others, among them there was a hawker named Bhola Das who were subjected to physical assault.

Bengal has been known for its communal harmony. But, this incident tarnished that image of Bengal. People could hardly believe it. Few Muslim Clerics have vented their concern. ” Now our playing at public places in West Bengal is at stake.”

Sidfiqulah Chowdhury, the state president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind who is also a state minister for the library affairs condemned the heinous acts by the ultra right-wing hard-liners. He said that the culprits will be brought to book. He would personally attract chief-minster’s attention over the incident.