Varanasi man attacked was paid to be part of ‘anti-Nepal’ video: Police

In the video, the attackers were seen inscribing “Jai Shri Ram” on the head of the man, who is believed to be from Nepal, and forcing him to chant slogans criticising Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The Varanasi Police on Saturday claimed that a man seen getting tonsured in a viral anti-Nepal video the day before suffers from mental disabilities, and had been paid Rs 1,000 to be a part of the clip.

In the video, the attackers were seen inscribing “Jai Shri Ram” on the head of the man, who is believed to be from Nepal, and forcing him to chant slogans criticising Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. In the video the victim was heard speaking in Nepali, but the police said he might not be a citizen of Nepal as initially believed.

The police said they were in the process of confirming whether the man is of Nepalese origin. The police also arrested two more people in connection with the incident, a day after four were held following the emergence of the clip.

An FIR lodged at Bhelupur police station has identified the main accused as Arun Pathak, who has links to the Vishwa Hindu Sena Sangathan.

In a statement on Saturday, Varanasi SSP Amit Pathak said, “On the evening of July 16, a person named Arun Pathak had uploaded a video. Cognizance was taken of the video and a case was registered at Bhelupur police station. There were objectionable comments in the video about a neighbouring country and its political people. A total of six people have been arrested in the case till now, where yesterday four were arrested while two more were arrested on Saturday. In the sequence of events, a person named Arun Pathak has come out as the main person in the incident. Today, we managed to contact the person who was shown in the video. This person lives here. He has a house in Jal Sansthan government colony. His parents were employees of the Water Department. Currently, his brother is working in the department. The person [who was tonsured] is a registered voter of India and has an Aadhaar card as well, and was born in Varanasi… He told us that listening to the people [the accused], he went with them and that they paid him Rs 1000 to get the video made. We are collecting more facts…”

SP (Varanasi city) Vikas Chandra Tripathi told The Indian Express, “Rajesh Rajbhar and Jai Ganesh Sharma, who is a barber and had shaved the man’s head, were arrested on Saturday.”He said the man in the video suffers from mental health problems, and works at a shop. Tripathi refused to divulge his identity.

“We are not sure if he has roots in Nepal, but for two generations they have lived here in India. The man in the video was told that there is a programme and he has to get his hair shaved and will get money. The people who took him with them knew him since childhood. He is undergoing treatment for a mental disorder,” Tripathi added.

Source: The Indian Express

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