On July 25, Saddam Hussain of Borbari Ahotpam village was lynched to death by a mob of Hindu residents of Ahotguri village in the Morigaon district of central Assam. Saddam along with five Muslim youths were returning from Naramari village, around 7 km away from their homes when they were attacked by the Hindu mob.
Hussain, along with Mirajul Hoque, Anarul Hoque, Bilal Hussain, Samsul Hoque and Abul Hussain were travelling on bikes after watching the final match of a local kabaddi league was accused of stealing cows, a suspicion the victims who escaped the lynch mob deny.
The six fellow villagers and friends were sports enthusiasts as one of them is a well-known football player in the area.
Anarul Hoque is known as Messi in the area for his brilliant goal-scoring talents. His brother, Mirajul Hoque, is seriously injured in the lynching attempt.
“People in the area do not recognise me if you say, Anarul Hoque. They know me as Messi because I play at the striker position”, Anarul told Maktoob adding he “could still see how the mob was beating them”.
Despite being known as a talented footballer in the area, Anarul and his friends could not get away from the “attackers who just intended to kill us” as he put it.
“When the game was over, we started for our home and reached Ahotguri at around 1:30 am (Tuesday morning). As it was raining, we stopped under tin shade along the road. At that moment, a group of 7-8 people rounded us and one of them said isn’t that you, Messi?” Anarul narrated how the assault began.
As Anarul was sure that everybody knew him, he replied affirming his identity. “They knew every one of us. Still, they accused us of stealing cows. When I said that we were not thieves and went to watch the kabaddi match and also asked them to verify, they hit me so badly that my vision became blurry”.
The Muslim men told the mob that they were travelling on bikes and it was not possible to steal cattle. They were tripling on two bikes. Yet more people joined the mob…