Highway gang forces Muslim journalist to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’
He was traveling with his family when his car was blocked by Hindu men
A gang of Hindu men subjected a Muslim reporter to a humiliating ordeal last week, according to media sources.
Munne Bharti, senior guest coordinator at NDTV, was traveling on the national highway with his family to a village in Bihar’s Samastipur when he came upon a truck blocking the road. According to NDTV, the journalist, who was traveling with his 91-year-old father, 84-year-old mother, and his wife and children, was asked by one of the truck’s occupants to not proceed further as there were riots on the road ahead.
When Bharti turned his vehicle around to go back, four or five men wearing saffron scarves around their necks got out of the truck and started chanting “Jai Sri Ram” (“Hail Lord Ram” or “Victory to Lord Rama”), India Today reported.
“As they neared my car, I asked them what the commotion was about,” Bharti was quoted as saying.
Seeing that his father had a beard and his wife was wearing a niqab, they ascertained that he was a Muslim. The men then threatened to set Bharti’s car on fire if he refused to chant “Jai Sri Ram.”
Bharti was quoted as saying, “I have always respected all religions and would never have any problems chanting Lord Ram’s name. But this time I did so under duress. I said ‘Jai Sri Ram’ to save the lives of my family.”
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar condemned the attack, saying said such incidents “will not be tolerated.”