Image source: NDTV

Hand cut off – brother claims Islamophobic hate crime; cops cite kidnapping and rape case

Akhlaq's kin claims people chopped his arm after realising he was Muslim. Cops says he kidnapped and raped a child. The FIRs are clashing.
Akhlaq's entire body, severely injured, besides his arm being chopped off
Image source: The Quint

The brother of a 28-year-old man, Akhlaq, claims Islamophobes chopped Akhlaq’s arm off on noticing a 786 tattoo. He also has injuries on other parts of his body. The brother furthermore claims that cops are trying to dismiss it as train accident. However, there is also an FIR against Akhlaq claiming he raped a child and though they beat him, his arm must have been cut off by train wheel as he ran away to the tracks. Police are thus looking at two FIRs now, both of which were filed hours apart on September 7, though the incidents happened on the intervening night of August 23 and 24.

Chopped his arm off because he was Muslim, says brother

According to Akhlaq’s 38-year-old brother, Ikram, their home is in Saharanpur, but Akhlaq went to Panipat, Haryana to get a job. His father, Fakira, and mother, Hamia, also do not work. Akhlaq was a barber, but the pandemic has ceased his work. Hence, he decided to go to Haryana.

However, as he did not have a place to live there, he sat in a park. Then, two people asked for his name and beat him up after which they left. Thereafter, Akhlaq sat at the other end of the park to hide from them. At this point, Ikram alleges it was already tough for Akhlaq to walk.

After that, at around 2 AM, Akhlaq went to a house and knocked on the door to ask for water. The residents were apparently the same who beat him up earlier. Thus, they pulled Akhlaq in, physically attacked him, even with bricks, and finally chopped his arm off using a saw cutter after seeing the β€˜786’ tattoo on it.

They wereΒ kattarΒ (orthodox) Hindus who do not want Muslims to live in Hindustan anymore.

Ikram, Akhlaq’s brother

Following that, Akhlaq managed to call his brother who then asked someone in Panipat to take him to a hospital. Though there was a GRP cop with them by then, he tried dismissing it saying that it was some sort of a train accident.

Police officer Satish Kumar Vats said that GRP officers who found Akhlaq near the train tracks took him to the Civil Hospital in Panipat. From there, Akhlaq was moved to PGI Rohtak.

Akhlaq's discharge slip from a hospital says 'traumatic amputation below elbow' in the diagnosis
Akhlaq’s discharge slip from a hospital says ‘traumatic amputation below elbow’ in the diagnosis
Image source: The Quint

Family accuses Akhlaq of sexually assaulting child

A seven-year-old child’s home was apparently near the trail track. The child stayed with his uncle and aunt who were asleep on the verandah. At 1 AM, the uncle noticed the boy was missing.

Thus, they began looking for him. Then, they heard a child making sounds as they got close to a park in Kishanpura. There, they saw Akhlaq and the child with barely any clothes. The family then beat up Akhlaq, from where he supposedly ran away to the railway track.

Incidents happen on August 23/24, FIRs filed hours apart on September 7

Akhlaq recorded his statement with the railway police on September 7 as he was unwell until then. As per his side of the case, police registered a case under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 34 (common intention) of the IPC. Ikram says that he saw a brick with blood on it in the park himself and knows Akhlaq speaks the truth. Hence, he wishes to fight for it.

The family filed a complaint on September 7 with the Chandni Bagh police in Panipat. A cop said that the child too gave a statement in which he said that Akhlaq forced his genitalia into the child’s mouth while they stood close to the railway station. The family took the boy to the hospital for treatment of his mouth as it was swollen. He also had four injuries.

Police thereafter registered a case under Section 6Β  (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), Section 18 (punishment for attempt to commit an offence) of the POCSO Act and Section 323 of the IPC. The family also said that they only waited to file the case because they were both worried about their child getting caught up in such a serious case, and also about the embarrassment they may face in the society.

As of now, officers are looking at both the FIRs and trying to gather information from PGI as well.

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