A video, purportedly from a village in Gonda district, has gone viral on the social media in which some local people are seen abusing and harassing three Muslim fakirs (religious men) who were begging for alms. The police said that one of the accused had been arrested. The cellphone video, shot in the Degur village of Gonda area, shows the three men seeking alms being chased by boys, who shout out abuses linked to religion. Some call out ‘beat them’. “They wear the clothes of sadhus but they will eat biriyani with this money,” another youth is heard saying. Then a young man, armed with a large stick, accost the men and demand their identification cards. Hearing that they were not carrying any, he calls them ‘jihadis’ and ‘terrorists’. “Just show us your Aadhaar, or we will thrash the stuffing out of you,” he is heard saying. He asks them their names and where they come from and repeatedly questions why they are not carrying Aadhaar. “All of you are terrorists… Carry your Aadhaar at all times,” he is heard saying. A man who tries to intervene is pushed away.
The police spokesman said that the police officials were apprised of the matter and action was being taken to identify the accused persons in the video.