In visuals that have horrified many online, a Muslim youngster was thrashed by a man purportedly for drinking water from a temple. A video of the incident that has gone viral shows the man asking the boy his name and his father's name before enquiring into the child's presence in a temple.
While the clip begins with the man hugging the boy in a seemingly friendly manner, the tone soon changes. As he reveals that he had come to drink water, the man in the video begins hitting him. The assault does not stop even as the child falls down. Rather, the person behind the camera merely adjusts the angle and continues to film the attack.
The video has since been shared widely with the Ghaziabad Police eventually revealing that the man identified as Shringi Nandan Yadav had been arrested. It remained unclear whether the camera person or any others who might have been part of the incident have been traced.
"Taking immediate cognizance of the above video, the person who formed the team and beat him up - Shringi Nandan Yadav, son Ashwani Kumar Yadav, resident of Gopalpur Police Station, Bhagalpur, Bihar was arrested and the procedure related to case registration / legal action was made," reads the rough translation for the post by the UP Police.
Needless to say, the video has dismayed and infuriated netizens. Details shared by Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair indicate that the clip had been uploaded to a now deleted Instagram account called "hinduektasanghh", that had also shared other posts along the same lines. The Instagram post had also tagged Shringi Nandan Yadav, seemingly amused and cheered by his antics.
Another update shared by the fact-checker indicates that the Instagram handle was also attempting to solicit funds from followers to help Yadav after a case was filed against him.
People online have also lashed out at the unknown individual behind the camera. As the video seemed to indicate, the the two discussed their plan of action after catching hold of the boy, and assaulted him only once the cameras were rolling. And while there were a few who attempted to defend the attackers by contending that there may be more to the story, social media users were quick to shut down naysayers.
Several political leaders have also weighed in on the clip. "Ye kis Raamaayan, Geeta ya Ved ka gyaan hai? Ye kaun sa vasudhaiva kutumbakam?" asked AAP MP Sanjay Singh.
"So much for sabka saath, savka vishwas when Muslims are being beaten for drinking water’. BJP has incentivized hate and violence!" alleged Congress leader Salman Nizami.