Ranchi (Jharkhand), June 12: While returning home from the evening Travih prayers late Sunday night, two cleric brothers were brutally beaten up by some unidentified assailants under Nagri police station area in Ranchi, the police said. An FIR has been registered by the victims’ relatives against some 20 men. The complaint alleges that the men, armed with sticks and rods, asked the clerics to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The accused assaulted the two brothers when they refused to do so.

The incident was reported on Sunday, June 10, when the Maulanas were returning from the Travih prayers from a nearby mosque in Agru village at around 10 PM. The complaint said that Maulana Azharul Islam and his brother Maulana Imran were on the way to their home in Naya Sarai village when some 20 bike-borne men stopped them mid-way and asked them to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When the brothers refused, they assaulted the brothers while hurling casteist, communal abuses at them.

“They asked them to chant Jai Shri Ram. When they refused to do so, they were assaulted with lathi and hockey sticks. One brother, Maulana Imran, managed to flee but Maulana Mazharul Islam was brutally assaulted by the mob,” local human rights lawyer Shadab Ansari said.

“As per the complaint, the group asked him (Azhar) to chant (a religious slogan). This led to an argument and the subsequent assault. The injured was rushed to hospital. He is out of danger now,” Officer-in-charge (Nagri) Ram Narayan Singh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. He said that a case has been registered. “The allegation that the victim was beaten up after being asked to chant a particular (God’s) name is yet to be substantiated,” he said.

This is not the first such case reported during the month of Ramadan. On May 25, around 20 Muslim families were forced to flee after they were attacked by some unidentified men around Iftar.