India’s students are increasingly feeling the wrath of the country’s powerful state media and social media platforms after they posted a video online claiming that a Muslim student had been beaten up by Hindu mobs and called a terrorist.
In the video, a student from a small school in Uttar Pradesh’s western Uttar Pradesh state, who asked to remain anonymous, said the student was assaulted by a group of about 30 men at the campus in the town of Bhagalpur on Friday morning.
The man, who was carrying a Quran, was assaulted and left with injuries to his face, neck and hands.
The students said he was attacked after he left the building and was walking home after school when he was followed by a crowd of people who surrounded him.
They also said they heard cries of ‘Allah Akbar’, which translates to ‘God is great’, and later saw the man on the ground with a knife in his hand.
A student from an Indian middle school in New Delhi, who said she was assaulted, said her assailants were students from the school.
The video was shared on social platforms and has been viewed over one million times.
Many people in India and around the world have reacted with outrage to the violence and fear that it has created for their own community.
But students in India say the video is part of a larger trend of Hindu mobs attacking Muslims in the country.
The students say they feel the attacks are part of the ongoing persecution of the Hindu minority.
On Saturday, a group called the Hindu Yuva Vahini claimed responsibility for the video.
In a video posted on its website, the group claimed that they were “the victims of the fascist regime that has come to power in India”, adding that they have been targeted by Hindu extremists in various cities across the country for the past year.
They said they had come to Bhagadpur after a night out, to support the Muslim community.
“We have been harassed for the last two years,” the student said.
“We are facing extreme attacks, being called terrorists and being called ‘terrorist’ for our faith.”
Many students say that they are now afraid of being targeted by vigilantes.
The student, who is not identified in the video because of the public nature of the footage, told NDTV that he was afraid to go out after dark because of fears of harassment.
“I have been scared of being attacked by people,” he said.