New Delhi: A 21-year-old student from Assam was allegedly beaten up by some residents of south Delhi's Amar Colony, police said Monday, denying that it was a racial attack.
According to the police, the student was identified as Arbazuddin Ahmed. He was trying to break the lock of someone else's house, mistaking it to be his own, apparently in an inebriated state.
Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi said: "We have filed a case on the basis of the victim's statement. The other side, however, stated that the victim was trying to break their door lock."
Bassi said it would be incorrect to say that it was a racial attack. "We are investigating with an open mind but prima facie it is not a racial attack."
Police said the youth hails from Guwahati and was living in Delhi for the last two years. He has suffered fractures in his limbs and jaw in the attack.
"The incident took place on March 5 when Arbazuddin came back home and tried to open the lock of a house which was not his. When the key didn't work, he tried to break the door and get in," a senior police official said.
"Meanwhile, hearing the sound, the owner of the house and neighbours woke up. Thinking that he was a thief, they thrashed him," he said.
Following a call from the locals at around 1.30 a.m. that they had caught a thief, a police team was rushed to the spot and took him to the hospital.
"His address was found to be in the same locality. Both the houses were on the first floor and the youth probably went into the wrong house apparently in an inebriated condition," police said.
Ahmed, who is pursuing Master in Commerce from Indira Gandhi Open University, was rushed to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where his condition is stated to be critical.
Ahmed's uncle Yasmin told IANS that he has undergone surgeries and his condition was critical.
Yasmin said: "It was a case of racial attack. The attackers used to comment on him daily. On the fateful night, they also commented on him by calling him 'jangali' (animal) and when he resisted they attacked him."
Yasmin also alleged that police were trying to save the attackers.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Mandeep Singh Randhawa told IANS that the police have questioned several people and the allegations are being verified.
"A hunt is on to nab the accused. Out investigation is in right direction," Randhawa said.