GUWAHATI: Abdul Rahman is a terrified man now. Rahman is the younger brother of Shaukat Ali, 68, who was assaulted by a mob for allegedly selling beef in Assam’s Biswanath district. “We are very disturbed. He could have lost his life. I have never witnessed this kind of communal hatred in my life,” Rahman yet to recover from the shock of watching his elder brother being beatem in public told The Citizen.

A video which went viral showed a group of youths surround Ali and start assaulting him. The mob was heard asking him if he was a Bangladeshi national and how he was selling beef without permission. Later, the mob forced him to eat pork. This is one of what has now become a steady stream of such incidents being reported from different parts of India.

Rahman, a teacher at a government school, said that his father had started the eatery some 40 years ago and his elder brother Shaukat Ali continued the business.

“But we have never faced anything like this. We are poor people and we earn our livelihood by working hard. A few local boys came and warned my brother not to sell beef last Thursday. He informed the mahaldar (manager) of the market Kamal Thapa about this incident,” Rahman said.

As per Rahman, on Sunday while Shaukat Ali was on his way back to home, a few youths confronted him and started thrashing him. Later, they also force fed him pork.

“Not only that, they also ransacked the eatery and the furniture. It’s very unfortunate. If it was an issue the mahaldar should have told my brother that beef shouldn’t be sold. My brother would have followed that. But I think eating beef or not is a personal thing,” added Rahman.

There are another four such eateries which sell beef in the locality. “So, beef was never an issue here. There is no personal enmity as well,” he said.

Though some locals made it a point that the issue started over demanding donation by a section of youth, Rahman denied it.

He also said the role of police was suspicious. “Police only started to act when the media started to play up the issue,” Rahman said.

Shaukat Ali is now undergoing treatment at the local hospital.

So far, Police have arrested one Deepen Gogoi who was involved in the incident. “We will take strict action against those who are found guilty. Our investigation is on to pick up more people,” a top police official of the district said.

Among others, the BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass has also condemned the incident and said that the home department should take immediate action to punish the culprits.