A 25-year-old Muslim man was allegedly assaulted in Gurugram by four unidentified youths for wearing a traditional skull cap, a police official said.
The victim was identified as Mohamad Barker Alam, a native of Bihar, living in the Jakob Pura area of Gurugram.
In a complaint to police on Sunday, Alam alleged that four unidentified youths accosted him in a Sadar Bazar lane and objected to him for wearing a skull cap.
"The accused threatened me, saying wearing cap was not allowed in the area. They removed my cap and slapped me, while asking me to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai," he said in the FIR, registered at the city police station.
"As I followed their instruction and chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai, they asked me to chant Jai Sri Ram which I refused. At this, the youths picked up a baton from the roadside and began beating me. They hit me on my legs and back," he added.
In the FIR, Alam said he was returning home after offering namaz in a mosque at Sadar Bazar when the incident took place.
He said after hearing his cries for help, other people from his community rushed to help him, following which the assailants fled from the spot.
"We have received a complaint about the incident and registered an FIR under sections 153, 147, 149, 323 and 506 in the city police station. We have also conducted medical examination of the man," Gurgaon City ACP Rajiv Kumar said.
While Section 153 of the IPC pertains to causing enmity between people of different religions, Sections 147 and 149 define offences of riots and unlawful assembly, respectively.
Sections 323 and 506 deal with offences of causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
"We are also scanning the CCTV footage of the area to identify the accused. Efforts are on to nab them," the assistant commissioner of police added.
Gambhir terms the incident deplorable, demands action
Newly elected East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir on Monday termed the incident as "deplorable" and asked authorities to take "exemplary" action in the matter.
His comments however, did not go down well among a few of his partymen in Delhi who said the words of the cricketer-turned-politician may be used against the Bharatiya Janata Party by the opposition parties.
"In Gurugram Muslim man told to remove skullcap, chant Jai Shri Ram”. It is deplorable. Exemplary action needed by Gurugram authorities. We are a secular nation where @Javedakhtarjadu writes “O palan-hare, nirgun aur nyare, & @RakeyshOmMehra gave us d song “Arziyan” in Delhi 6," Gambhir tweeted.
However, a section of Delhi BJP leaders expressed their reservation over the tweet and said Gambhir's words may be used against the saffron party.
"Gambhir is no longer a cricketer and he should realise this that his words and actions will be seen through the prism of politics.
"Nobody likes such incidents but what is the use of commenting on an incident in Haryana which may be used against the BJP by other parties," said a senior Delhi BJP leader.
However, Gambhir said his secularism emanated from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's philosophy of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' and added that any oppression based on caste or religion is deplorable.
"My thoughts on secularism emanate from honourable PM Mr Modi's mantra "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas".. I am not limiting myself to Gurugram incident alone, any oppression based on caste/religion is deplorable. Tolerance & inclusive growth is what the idea of India is based on," he said in another tweet.