Muezzin slapped for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in West Bengal

New Delhi: A 54-year-old muezzin was allegedly slapped by an unidentified youth for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram in West Bengal’s Hoogly district.

Mohammed Sufiuddin said that he was accosted by three motorcycle-borne youths and asked to chant the slogan when he was riding a bicycle from his home to the mosque on Wednesday around 3.45 am.

”I told them about my religious identity and requested them not to force me to chant the slogan. At this, one of the youths slapped me hard and I fell down with my cycle. As I cried in pain, the youths escaped from the scene. There was no one around as it was too early in the morning,” Sufiuddin was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

Sufiuddin has filed a complaint at Chinsurah police station against three unidentified persons.

Gaurav Sharma, the police commissioner of Chandernagore said that a probe into the incident has been started.

”They only slapped me once but I lodged a complaint with the police to teach them a lesson. If the police take steps, they will not dare to do such things in future. It is not the culture of our area where I have been living since my childhood,” said Sufiuddin.

He says that BJP supporters have increasingly started to harass Muslims like him since the BJP won 18 seats in the 2019 parliamentary elections in the state.

”This is not the first such instance with me. Shortly after the 2019 poll result was declared, a youth, who was part of a bigger group, had said, ‘Kaka, Jai Shri Ram bolo’ (Uncle, chant Jai Shri Ram). But before I could reply to the youth, one of his friends rebuked him and asked him not to force me to chant Jai Shri Ram,” Sufiuddin said.

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