THE AIPF fact-finding team which enquired into the attack on Mohd Sajid’s family in Nayagaon (Gurgaon) has found that the attack was part of a campaign by communal forces, and not a clash between two teams.

On 1 March 2019 when the country was celebrating Holi, a gang of goons brutally attacked the family of Sajid in Nayagaon as well as relatives who had come to visit him on the occasion of Holi. The family members were hard put to save their lives. On receiving the news, an All India People’s Forum enquiry team went to Nayagaon and spoke to the victims. Speaking to the affected people, the AIPF team which visited the venue found that it was only by fortunate chance that all the family members escaped with their lives from this mortal attack.

Nayagaon is located about 14 km from Gurgaon and has a concentration of Gurjar population. As in the entire NCR, farmers’ lands have been made into plots and sold in this village also. Most of the youth in these families are engaged in the purchase and sale of land, through some means or the other. Farmer Bhoop Singh of Nayagaon has divided his land into plots and established Bhoop Nagar where lower middle class families from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar live on plots of land and are engaged as workers in nearby factories. Six Muslim families from Baghpat region in Uttar Pradesh who had come some years ago to Gurgaon in search of work also live here. One of these is the family of Mohd Sajid which became the target of the communal attack in this incident.

It began with an argument but looking at the nature of the incident it is clear that communal forces had consciously made it part of their communal campaign. Telling the team about the incident, Mohd Sajid’s nephew Dilshad (3o years) said that many relatives had gathered at the house on the day of Holi. They were playing cricket on the path that goes through a nearby plot. Two motorcycle borne persons came by and said, ‘Hey Mullas, what are you doing here?” When they replied, “We are playing cricket”, the persons on the motorcycle said, “Not here; go to Pakistan and play”. The family members also answered back. When the argument escalated, Mohd Sajid who was sitting in the house nearby came to intervene and the motorcyclists slapped him. At this, the children and youth playing cricket leapt towards the motorcyclists who went away and all the people who were playing cricket came back to the house. After a short while, 20-22 people (some on bikes and some on foot) came there, entered the house, and attacked the family members present there. The women were cooking food. Shamina tried to intervene but they attacked her with swords and sticks and she fell down. The frenzied goons spared no one, from 5 year old Afifa to 55 year old Shakrina.

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Somehow, the women and girls ran to the top floor. 21 year old Danishta who had come to celebrate Holi at her uncle’s home had her brother Irshad’s mobile phone in her hand. Danishta says, “To save themselves, the boys reached the other side of the terrace and shut themselves in. The attacking goons chased them upstairs and started breaking open the door. That door was strong; the iron sheets loosened from the frame but the door did not break. Next to the door was a balcony with a wooden frame which the goons removed, entered the terrace, and started beating up the children and young men extremely brutally. The blood on the terrace and the blood-soaked clothes were witness to the extreme savagery of the attack. Not only that, the goons threw down 22 year old Mohd Abid from the high terrace, causing fractures in his hands as well as legs. They beat Irshad so mercilessly that he became unconscious.”

Danishta further says, “The goons were brutally thrashing my brothers and I felt that today they won’t survive. I thought I would make a video with the mobile in my hand”. One of the goons saw her making the video and pounced towards her. To save themselves the women ran to the other side of the terrace (which was partitioned into two halves) and shut themselves in. Seeing no possibility of escape, Danishta hid the mobile under a pile of bricks. The marks on the iron door here show the intensity of the attempts made by the goons to break the door. As this part of the terrace has no balcony and therefore the goons did not succeed in breaking this door, they again started attacking the children on the other half of the terrace. In the end the frenzied mob left the place, under fear and pressure that their acts were being video-recorded. The house had been very badly vandalized. Of the Sajid family and the visiting relatives, 12 people including aged women, men, and children, are badly injured. Three women have had to be admitted in hospital and four boys have multiple fractures and injuries on their whole bodies. Glass, doors, basins, and windows on the outside of the house have been broken and destroyed. If, despite this series of incidents, the administration believes it to be a clash between two opposing factions, it is a clear indication of the freedom and fearlessness with which communal forces are able to target minorities and dalits in Haryana.

The AIPF team tried to meet Sarpanch Surgyan Khatana but he was not present at his home or in his office so they could not meet him. His father Bhule Ram Khatana at first denied any knowledge of the incident but later said that boys from Nayagaon are involved in the incident. It was also said that the son of Bhoop Singh (the original owner of these lands in whose name the colony has been named Bhoop Nagar) is also involved in this incident. Some elderly women and boys were sitting in a shop in Nayagaon. The boys said at first they had nothing to do with the incident but as they proceeded to speak, they came out in defence of the attackers. Their communal mindset was clearly evident from their remarks. The elderly women expressed regret that such incidents are taking place after 20-25 years of a society living together in peace, but even they sounded less concerned about the victim family and more concerned about the boys whom the police were questioning. Thirteen accused have so far been named by the police out of whom the main accused and 2 accused persons have been arrested.

The police believe that the incident is the result of an argument between the people living in the area and should not be given a communal perspective. But the consequent organized violence should leave no doubt that this so called small incident is linked to the communal polarization being done in society by the RSS.
The affected family is still living in a state of great terror. So much so that Dilshad states that he does not know any of the attackers. The uneasiness on his face is clearly visible as he says this. Shock is clearly visible on the face of 13 year old Mushir studying in Class VII. The entire household is in a state of shock after this brutal attack from which they barely escaped with their lives. The aim of the murderous mob was to drive out the relatively well-off Sajid family from this area. It will be remembered that on 28 September 2015 it was in this same NCR region that Akhlaq was lynched in Bishara village near Dadri. The manner in which the Akhlaq family was brutalized by goons has many parallels with the manner in which the Sajid family was beaten up. The Sajid family could well have lost their lives in the incident, but due to Danishta’s courage and presence of mind in making the video, the goons got afraid and went away. Dilshad told the AIPF team how the goons shouted communal abuses during the attack, using words like mulla, katua, anti-national, pro-Pakistani etc. These very abuses point to the training grounds and aim of the attackers.