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An Indian muslim boy got beaten for drinking water from Hindu temple.

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The 14-year-old boy entered the temple to drink water when he was noticed by the temple caretaker, Shringi Nandan Yadav, 23, who advanced to beat the boy, the boy’s family told the Hindustan Times. The incident took place on Thursday in the city of Dasna in Ghaziabad district, which is in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

“My son stopped to drink water from a tap located inside the temple as he was thirsty. He was beaten up after they asked his identity. He suffered a head injury,”

said the father, adding that his son usually didn’t frequently go to the temple and that has been told to not visit it in the future.

“He was badly beaten up and humiliated. Does water have a religion? I don’t think there is any religion that can refuse water to a thirsty person,”

he said while talking to The Indian Express. He grieved that the temple which was in the past open to the public, isn’t anymore, he added that he hoped his son would receive justice. Ghaziabad police on getting informed of the incident, took notice and detained the main accused, Yadav, along with Shivanand Saraswati, another caretaker, who had recorded the incident. The recorded video was widely circulated online on social media platforms and went viral on Friday evening.

Under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and also provisions of the Information Technology Act, the cases were registered against the two men. Senior Superintendent of Police Ghaziabad Kalanidhi Naithani said the main suspect had been arrested shortly after the incident had first come to light.

“Any person found indulging in anti-social activities will face strict action by the police,”

he told The Indian Express. Yadav, who had been residing in the temple for the past three months had contributed to the viral spread of the video, said another police officer.

Police officials said Yadav, hailing from Bihar, had shifted to Ghaziabad six months ago. He was doing voluntary service at the Dasna Devi Temple and considered himself a disciple of its caretaker, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati. Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) posted Yadav’s picture on Twitter on Saturday. “[The] NCPCR Is committed to providing justice to the child.”

The management committee of the temple, meanwhile, said it would extend its help to Yadav for legal aid. A member from the committee, Anil Yadav, said the temple bore full responsibility for the event. Temple authorities said they had prohibited entry of non-Hindu people while it is written on a board placed outside the temple, “This temple is a holy place for Hindus, it is forbidden for Muslims to enter. By order of Narsinghanand Saraswati.”

Saraswati is a rightwing preacher whose inflammatory speeches were also shared by the main accused on his social media, along with pictures of him holding various weapons.

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Batool Imami

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