In the complaint, Sajid’s nephew Dilshaad, who was among those beaten up, said trouble started when he was playing cricket with some others in a vacant plot near the house.
Video grabs of the assault captured on a family member’s phone.
Gurugram, Haryana (INDIA): On Thursday, as the country celebrated Holi, a group of around 20 men arrived at the two-storey house of Mohammad Dilshad (32) in Bhoop Singh Nagar of Bhondsi, armed with sticks, a spear and hockey sticks.
The police complaint filed later by Dilshad states they began by pelting stones at the house and vandalising the three motorbikes standing outside. When they stormed in, the men of the house sent the women and children to the second floor terrace.
From there, one of the girls, Danishta (21), shot the video of the brutal assault that has now gone viral on social media, showing the attackers beating the men and an elderly woman mercilessly, while the girls and boys pressed against the iron door of the terrace to prevent it from being pushed open, trembling with fear and crying out for help.
Dilshad, originally from Baghpat in UP, runs a shop selling air coolers in Bhondsi. He built this house four years ago, which, three years ago, he let out to his uncle Mohammad Sajid to live in with his wife and six children. The area has around 4-5 families from the minority community.
Cops said the attack was triggered by an argument over playing cricket. Dilshad, who lives in another house he owns in Badshapur and had come over for Holi, had a different take. He said at around 3pm, he had gone out to play cricket with neighbours in an open area nearby.
Suddenly, nine youths on three bikes, a few of them from an influential family of the village, approached them, and shouted, “What are you doing here? Go to Pakistan.” Taken aback, they wrapped up their match and returned home. Soon after, at around 5-5.30pm, the youths reached their home with reinforcements.
The two-storey house has two rooms and an open kitchen on the ground floor, with one room on the first floor. “The attackers rushed into one of the rooms on the ground floor, opened a cupboard and took away Rs 25,000, one gold chain and a pair of earrings,” said Sameera (30), one of the women. “We, the adults, took shelter on the first floor terrace and locked the door. The attackers tried to smash it but failed. So they broke in through a window, reached the terrace, and mercilessly beat me on the head and body. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, as I fell unconscious,” said Sajid.
“They threw stones at our home, broke our vehicles and then stormed in. We sent our daughters and younger women to the second floor terrace as we feared for their modesty. They brutally beat me, my uncle Mohammad Sajid (46) and my elderly mother on the first floor terrace. We had called up the cops several times, but they only reached after the attackers left. Then they took the injured to hospital,” wrote Dilshad in his complaint, which claims 12 people, including women and children, were injured.
The havoc went on for 15 minutes. “Around seven of us had locked ourselves on the second-floor terrace, which the attackers failed to break through,” said Danishta. She said she had made three videos, of one minute each, which forced the attackers to flee. “When one of the miscreants saw I was shooting their video on my cellphone, he screamed, “Get hold of the girl and her phone”, as he ran to the second floor. I hid the phone between floor tiles of the roof,” added Danishta. By then, fearing that their faces had been identified, all of them fled.
Family members said police arrived at 6.30pm, an hour after the attackers had left. “We had called up ‘100’. After a while, a PCR Gypsy van arrived with three police officers. Seeing so many people standing outside the house and the intensity of the attack, they called for backup,” said Mohammad Akhtar, who also lives in Bhondsi and arrived after the attackers had left. All the injured were taken to the AIIMS trauma centre in Delhi and discharged on Friday morning.
Based on Dilshad’s complaint, an FIR was registered at Bhondsi police station against unknown attackers, under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (unlawful assembly), 452 (trespassing), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC on Thursday night. One of the accused was arrested but his name could not be ascertained. “A case has been registered and we’ve identified most of the accused. Our teams are conducting raids and will arrest them soon. It was a brawl between two groups,” said police commissioner Muhammad Akil.
At their home on Friday evening, shards of broken glass and blood stains could be seen all over the house. Both ground floor rooms were occupied by injured people. Sajid lay in the veranda with relatives cleaning up stitches on his head. Inside, youngsters Sajjad (21) and Abid (20) lay on the floor with fractured legs, with another youth Irshad (24) on a bed. Since returning from hospital, they have resorted to ‘desi medicine’. “They wanted to instil fear among us, and we’re terrified,” said Khurshid Siddique, a relative.
High above, the house has a Tricolour fluttering from its water tanks. “We’re all Indians, and we don’t need a certificate from anyone to tell us that. This flag belongs to all of us too,” said Siddique.
On Friday evening, a police van with six personnel stood outside the house. Inside, the family alleged they had spotted two bikers and a car doing a recce of the house. “We’ve reported this to police. We’re afraid the miscreants might come back to attack us again,” said Mohammad Akhtar.