Mob attacks man in Maharashtra allegedly over social media post supporting Nupur Sharma

First Published Aug 6, 2022, 6:30 PM IST

A mob in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district attacked a 23-year-old man with sharp weapons accusing him of supporting Bharatiya Janata Party’s Nupur Sharma on social media, leaving him seriously injured.

According to the police, the man, identified as Pratik alias Sunny Rajendra Pawar, received injuries to his head and other parts of the body and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital on August 4. Four accused have been arrested in connection with the incident. 

Pawar was attacked by at least 14 people from the minority community armed with a sword, hockey sticks, sickle and sticks on Thursday evening in front of a medical shop at Akkabai Chowk in Karjat town 222 km away from the Ahmednagar district headquarters.

Pawar and the complainant in the case, Amit Mane, were travelling on a two-wheeler on their way to attend an event. They were waiting for a friend near the medical shop when some men approached them on two-wheelers. According to the First Information Report (FIR), the suspects were carrying hockey sticks, a sword and a sickle.

The complaint further said that one of the assailants yelled at Pawar, stating that he had written a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma and also posted a status on Instagram about Kanhaiya Lal and attacked him. Kanhaiya was murdered by two Muslim men in June in Udaipur for allegedly sharing a social media post backing former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, whose comments on Prophet Mohammad had caused a massive controversy.

The attackers allegedly threatened Pawar that he will meet the same fate as that of Umesh Kolhe, the chemist was killed over his alleged support for Nupur Sharma on social media in Maharashtra’s Amravati district. The case is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency. 

After Pawar was left injured, Mane reached out to a couple of friends who rushed Pawar to a government hospital.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer termed it as premature to link the social media posts to the attack on Pawar. The officer said Pawar has a criminal background with two cases pending against him.

The probe thus far did not reveal any social media post by Pawar supporting Nupur Sharma, Police said, adding that the victim may have had some old enmity with members of a group. 

Meanwhile, the issue took a political turn with BJP MLA Nitesh Rane stating that if Hindus are targeted like this, “our hands are not tied”. “We will not sit quiet till all the accused are arrested. Some of them are still absconding. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is monitoring the case. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and minority affairs minister Nawab Malik are not in power now. Attackers of Hindus will be given a tit-for-tat response. We follow B R Ambedkar’s constitution. There is no Shariah law in this country,” he told media persons.

With PTI Inputs

Last Updated Aug 6, 2022, 6:30 PM IST

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