For 68-year-old Shaukat Ali, the mob attack victim in Assam, eating pork was more painful than the physical assault.
Ali, was attacked by a group of people for selling buffalo meat in his eatery in Biswanath Chariali area of Biswanath district. He was also made to eat pork which left him extremely distraught, reported the Scroll.
On Sunday, Shaukat Ali was also warned by managers of the market that there were some young men who were not pleased with him serving buffalo meat, and demanded it not to be sold.
“They said that if I had brought any buffalo meat with me, I should send it back or throw it away,” Ali said, as told to him by the managers.
Shaukat Ali had been running this eatery for close to 40 years,
However, heeding the warning by the managers, Ali did not serve buffalo meat that day.
“That day I only served broiler [chicken] and fish,” he said.
The men returned to the market around 3:30 pm and raided his eatery and found the hidden buffalo meat in a saucepan, following which they launched an attack on Shaukat Ali.
“Bangladeshi, m***********r, you think this is Pakistan?” Ali narrated one of them asking him.
They broke all the tables and dumped the utensils and gas cylinders into a nearby ditch, said Ali.
Ali then rushed to the managers for help, but in vain. “They asked me to get out from there, he claimed. So, I decided to run as I was scared they would hit me.”
When he tried to run away, he met one of the managers on the road who took him to a nearby shop.
But the men arrived and started to beat him up. “They hit me with sticks, kicked me all over, then dragged me to a corner in the market and again beat me up,” said Ali.
He was asked, “Why are you selling beef? Do you have a license to sell beef? Are you Bangladeshi? Is your name in the NRC [National Register of Citizens]?”
Ali’s name does feature on the updated registry, his family said. “Everyone on our family is on the NRC [National Register of Citizens],” said his brother Abdul Rahman, as quoted by the Scroll. “My great-grandfather was born here in Darrang district.”
After the attack, Ali was force-fed pork, a meat that Islam forbids the consumption of. One of the accused instructed him to swallow the piece of meat.
Ali is now in hospital, nursing injuries all over his body.
One man on Tuesday was arrested by the police and a hunt is on for the others.
Recalling his humiliation, Ali said, “Fine, they beat me up, Ali said. But why did they force me to eat pork? We only sell buffalo meat because Hindus do not eat there.”
His emotional brother reiterated, “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. After what he had to go through he might as well be dead.”
Ali lamented that he was hurt because he was targeted for his religion in the place he grew up. “My father ran this eatery for 40 years, everyone knew, but no one ever objected. He died feeding people.”
Ali might go back to the market and start his work but he cannot sell buffalo meat anymore. He said, “The mahaldar [manager] has said I can (go back to the market), but I cannot sell goru’r mangsho [buffalo meat], he said. That is okay, I will sell broiler [chicken] and fish.”