A Muslim family travelling from Kannauj was attacked after getting off a train at the Aligarh railway station on Sunday. According to the family, they were beaten up by a mob of around 15 men who didn’t specify why they were being violent.
“They were getting down from the train and suddenly a group of 15 attacked them. They were wearing saffron and screaming slogans. They were attacked because they were Muslim,” said Farhan Zuberi, an eyewitness.
The family includes two men and two women who were travelling to Aligarh as one of them needed medical care at a hospital there.
Mr. Ali claimed that the people who attacked them came from outside and were not travelling on the train. “They didn’t board the train either. They came, targeted the family whose women were wearing burqas and ran away when the police chased them.”
Afsana Begum's family had come from Kannauj for her son Shafiq's medical treatment. The situation was eased after GRP inspector Yashpal Singh assured them that the culprits would be charged. On Monday, former AMU student union president Salman Imtiaz led a protest march. In a memorandum handed over to the district authorities, the students demanded the arrest of those involved in the attack within 48 hours. They warned they would intensify their protest if the attackers are not arrested by then.
The memorandum called the incident a "failed attempt at mob lynching" and "a deliberate attempt to foment communal violence". It also demanded a judicial inquiry. It alleged that last week, some right-wing groups had tried to trigger communal tension by calling for a ban on burqas at a local college.
The AMU Teachers Association general secretary Najmul Islam also demanded a probe into the railway station attack.