Jobseeker’s arm cut off with chainsaw by mob ‘angry at his Muslim hand tattoo’

An Indian barber looking for a new job claims a group of people chopped his arm off because they were angry about the tattoo on his hand.

Akhlaq Salmani, from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was visiting the town of Panipat in search of work on August 24. At approximately 1.30am he knocked on the door of a house and asked for water.

Four people allegedly then attacked him with sticks and bricks and dragged him to a nearby saw machine, cutting his right arm off with a chainsaw.

They then dumped him near the railway tracks, where he was later picked up by police and taken to hospital.

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Mr Salmani's family, who is Muslim, claim he was attacked because of his faith. His brother Ikram alleges the culprits were angered by the tattoo on Mr Salmani's hand, the Hindustan Times reports.

"My brother's hand was cut because 786 was written on his hand," he said.

The number 786 has a holy meaning in Islamic religious scriptures.

Haryana police formed a special investigation team after Mr Salmani came forward with the allegations.

He had been picked up by police from the railway tracks and taken to hospital, where he gave a statement.

Panipat superintendent of police, Manisha Chaudhary, confirmed the crime had taken place but added that Salmani did not mention the tattoo in his initial complaint.

In a bizarre twist, a second police report filed on September 7 alleged that Mr Salmani had in fact "sodomised" a young boy on August 23, and that his hand had been accidentally severed when he fell onto railway tracks while fleeing the scene.

"An SIT under Panipat DSP Satish Vats has been formed to investigate both the cases and the police will soon contact Akhlaq to join the investigation," Mr Chaudhary said.

Attacks on Muslims are increasingly common in India as Hindu nationalists blame them for the country's problems, even the coronavirus.

There have been countless mob attacks in which Muslim Indians have been beaten or lynched, with footage of the sickening violence even uploaded to social media websites or shared on WhatsApp.

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