7 April 2019: Shaukat Ali, 68, was beaten on the road and “forced to eat pork” as punishment by local Hindus.

The mob, while threatening Shaukat Ali, asked him if he had license to sell beef and whether he was from Bangladesh.

Shaukat Ali received multiple injuries from the assault and is being treated in a local hospital.

A week ago, a few young men had come to his restaurant, and expressed their displeasure that he served bovine meat.

Kamal Thapa, the local (managers) of the market, had turned them away that day.

On Sunday morning, more than a dozen went on a rampage: destroying everything they could find in his eatery. “They broke all the desks and dumped the utensils and gas cylinders into a nearby ditch,” said Ali.

Ali’s ordeal did not end there. As seen in the video, Ali was then force-fed pork, a meat that Islam forbids the consumption of.

But the humiliation far exceeded the physical pain, he said. “Fine, they beat me up,” Ali said. “But why did they force me to eat pork?”

His brother Rahman, a teacher in a lower primary school said: “If they thought my brother was doing a mistake, they could have called the police, but why force him to eat pork? All of us have some kind of reverence towards our faith.”
Cattle slaughter is not banned in Assam. Unlike many other Indian states, the law in Assam also does not distinguish between buffaloes and cows or bulls. The Assam Cattle Preservation Act of 1950 allows the slaughter of cattle over 14 years of age, or those incapables of work or for use in breeding.

The assault on Shaukat Ali is a clear example of the increasing incidents of violence based on religious beliefs and practices in India. The mob attack, destruction of his property and the forced consumption of pork, is a violation of his basic human rights and an infringement on his religious freedom.

The attack also serves as a reminder of the importance of tolerance and respect for different religious beliefs and practices in the new India of Modi.

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Source:  Scroll    |    NDT    |    India Today   |    Outlook India

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