The Hindu – ‘Rumours’ drove assault on four Sikh men in Chainpura

Villagers accuse sewadars of ‘hypnotising’ them while seeking alms

Mohammed Iqbal

Chainpura (Nasirabad), 27 May 2017. Rumours and fear of the unknown purportedly drove villagers of Chainpura, about 160 km from Jaipur, to assault four Sikh men here last month. The villagers said the victims, sewadars of a gurdwara, had “hypnotised” them while demanding cash and foodgrain.

“They hypnotised us while seeking alms…In a trance, I gave away ₹2,500 and 20 kg of wheat,” said Keshav Singh (60), a farmer. The villagers at Chainpura, dominated by Rawat Rajputs, further accused the men of threatening them.

Molestation charge

“These Sikh men were roaming around for several days. They were asking villagers to donate foodgrain and threatening people who refused to do so,” said Ajay Rawat, who owns a wine shop in Pushkar.

The victims were also accused of child trafficking, molestation, robbery and selling low-quality rice. Earlier this week, a 51-second video of the sewadars being abused and thrashed by the villagers went viral on social media.

The victims, who fled to their native place Khairthal in Alwar district, have not returned to Nasirabad to seek action against the accused. The villagers claimed that the mob consisted of youth from the nearby Chat Sardarpura hamlet and not residents of Chainpura.

On a complaint lodged by Sarpanch Ramdev Singh, the police detained the four men after the thrashing episode on April 24 and released them the next day following their medical examination and bail orders. Even as no remorse is visible among the villagers, the police here are unwilling to follow up the matter and launch investigation into violence.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Jagdish Rao told The Hindu that no investigation could be initiated unless the victims filed a complaint.

“We asked the group’s leader, Nirmal Singh, to lodge a counter-complaint, but he refused. We cannot open a case [against the villagers] on our own,” he said.

Nasirabad Sadar Station House Officer Laxman Ram said he was in touch with the sewadars, but they were reluctant to come to the town again. “Mr. Singh told me on phone that a complaint would not serve any purpose now.”

While insisting that the incident should not be given a communal twist, Mr Ram said if the police had not reached the spot on time, the mob would have killed the men. “On the other hand, if we had released them without detention for a day, it would have created a law and order situation here,” he said.

Sikhs in the dark

The minuscule Sikh minority in Nasirabad was unaware of the incident until the video was circulated on social media. Singh Sabha Gurdwara’s caretaker Tirlochan Singh said the gurdwara volunteers from other places generally did not inform the local community members about their visits.

The incident bore similarities to the one in Jharkhand, where six persons were lynched on May 19 on suspicion of being child lifters. Last month, cow vigilantes allegedly lynched a dairy farmer from Haryana and thrashed three others on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway claiming that they were taking the cows for slaughter.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rumours-drove-assault-on-four-sikh-men-in-chainpura/article18588926.ece

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