An obvious case of intimidation, manhandling and sexual assault by a bunch of Muslim students, which millions of Twitter users saw in a viral video, has been registered as a case of retaliation for the Hindu victim’s alleged act of casting aspersions on Mohammed, Islam’s prophet. Worse, a large section of the media has reported the case as one of “ragging”. On 12 November, the video went viral on social media, showing a student of the ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (IFHE) in Hyderabad, Himank Bansal, being beaten up by the other students of the institute and forced to chant “Allah u Akbar”.
The video shows a group of students — who can be safely identified as Muslims from what they are heard saying — can be seen beating up and threatening Bansal inside a hostel room.
After the assault, Bansal filed a complaint with Hyderabad City Police, describing the circumstances that led to the attack on him. He said that a classmate from the first year of the BA-LLB course, Dipasha Sharma, had called him a paedophile for being friends with a girl 3½ years younger than him. According to Bansal, he told the friend he did not want a sexual relationship with her and cited references from Islamic scriptures to explain how he was not wrong, but the girl shared his messages with others in the college.
Bansal went on to complain to the police that 20 odd boys barged into his hostel room thereafter and manhandled him, accusing him of hurting religious sentiments. The assaulters further asked him to chant “Allah u Akbar” while they kept beating him up. He was also threatened during the course of the assault, as were his family members.
The video above shows one of the assaulters climb over him on the bed and take his wallet out of a pocket in the trousers.
The group of students allegedly asked Bansal to remove his trousers. When he refused, they physically abhsed him. Bansal has named several of these people in his complaint with details of their respective actions during the assault.
The victim furnished video and photographic evidence of the assault to the police, along with his complaint. But the police registered a case of simple ragging!
Cyberabad Police shared on Twitter a case registered on 11 November at the Shankarpally Police Station against the culprits under the provisions of Sections 307, 342, 450, 323 and 506, read with Section 149 of the IPC and Section 4(I),(II), and (III) of the Prohibition of Ragging Act of 2011.
Reacting to the case of ‘ragging’, as reported by the media, journalist-turned-adviser to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Kanchan Gupta tweeted, “This is hogwash…”