Abdul Samad had his beard forcibly hacked off by his attackers
An elderly Muslim man was assaulted in Loni in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district on June 5 while on his way to a mosque to offer prayers.
The attackers allegedly abducted Abdul Samad from an autorickshaw and dragged him to a hut in a nearby forested area, where they reportedly shouted 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Vande Mataram', which they forced him to shout as well, as they punched and beat him with wooden sticks.
UP Police, however, ruled out any communal angle and said Abdul Samad was attacked by six men - Hindus and Muslims - who were unhappy over the amulets he had sold them.
They reportedly also accused Mr Samad of being a Pakistani spy.
One of the attackers - a young man wearing a white full-sleeve T-shirt and blue sweatpants - also threatened Mr Samad with a knife that he used to forcibly hack away at his beard.
A video of the vile incident, in which Mr Samad can be seen pleading with his attackers, has been circulated online.
The video shows at least two other young men attacking Mr Samad - one wearing a black shirt and red trousers, and another in a light-blue T-shirt and grey trousers.
"I was on my way when I was offered a lift. Two more men then got inside (the auto rickshaw) and told me to stay. Then they took me to a room and locked me up and thrashed me. They forced me to chant slogans... they took my mobile away... they got a knife and cut my beard," a visibly traumatised Mr Samad, who was reduced to tears, said.
"They even showed me a video of other Muslims being attacked," he said, adding his attackers had boasted to him that they had killed many Muslims before.
Police have registered a case and arrested a Pravesh Gujjar - believed to be the main accused. They are still looking for the others.
Atul Kumar Sonkar, a senior police officer from Loni, said "required steps" were being taken.
The accused, who is in police custody, has yet to make a statement or offer his version of events.