AAP MLA Jarnail Singh on Saturday posted a video of two Sikh men being mercilessly thrashed by a group of people, who even tried to set one of them on fire, in Assam. While posting the video, Singh warned the BJP government of Assam reminding them of the existential crisis that the Congress was facing in Delhi, where Sikhs were victims of genocide in 1984.
He wrote, “Brutalities against Sikhs in the BJP ruled Assam. The same thing had happened in the Congress ruled Delhi (in 1984). Today, there’s no one to support the party in Delhi. By treating a race, which made the most sacrifices for India’s freedom, what kind of patriotism are you trying to display. Shame on you.”
Bjp शाषित आसाम में सिखों के साथ बर्बरता,
दिल्ली में भी कांग्रेस के राज में कुछ ऐसा ही हुआ था आज दिल्ली में उनका नाम लेने वाला भी कोई नहीं बचा,
देश की आजादी के लिए सबसे ज्यादा कुर्बानियां देने वाली कौम के साथ यह सब करके कौनसी देशभक्ति दिखाने की कोशिश की जा रही है लानत है तुम पर.. pic.twitter.com/5PPF5LAhsy
— Jarnail Singh (@JarnailSinghAAP) March 10, 2018
Singh’s tweet has been shared more than 400 times with more than 5,000 people having already viewed his video. Many users were quick to clarify that there was no communal angle to the violence against the Sikhs in the video. Some even posted the links of some Hindi newspapers claiming that the men in the video were babas, who were being mercilessly beaten on suspicion of being child smugglers.
Since the incident took place in Assam’s Kamrup district, Janta Ka Reporter contacted the Superintendent of Police, PS Mahanta, to ascertain the truth behind the viral video. Despite our repeated attempts to contact him, Mahanta was not available. We then contacted the district’s additional SP, Santanu Kumar Saikia, who told Janta Ka Reporter that the incident had taken place on 27 February and police had arrested three people in connection with the violence.
He said, “We’ve arrested three are looking to identify the remaining culprits in the video. Our preliminary investigations reveal that the two gentlemen in the video are identified as Pritam Singh and Vikramjit Singh and they hail from Punjab’s Mohali district. They sold some kinds of medicine in Kamrup. There’s no communal angle to the violence. There’s a large group of Sikh population here. They’ve had absolutely no problem up until now.
” This appears to be a case of fraud and forgery. We are in touch with Punjab to get more detail on the victims recorded in the video.”
Both Pritam and Vikramjit, according to Saikia, allegedly owed money to the local residents. This, he said, appeared to have been the reason for the violence against the two.
The video, however, raises serious questions on law and order under yet another BJP-ruled state as there’s no excuse to subject anyone, regardless of his or her crime, to such violence. There must not be any place for mob justice in a civilised society.
The coverage of the incident by Hindi newspapers also once again highlights the glaring shortcomings in the reporting standards of the Indian media. Far from making efforts to obtain the truth, some newspapers with considerably large viewerships, simply created an imaginary narrative around the video.