Two men have been arrested in India following a violent assault on a 14-year-old Muslim boy who entered a Hindu temple to drink water, police say.
Footage of the incident, which occurred in Ghaziabad in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, sparked outrage after it was widely shared online last week.
In the video, posted on Instagram, one man can be seen beating and kicking the boy as a second person videos it, reports The Indian Express.
Rights groups have expressed concern over an apparent rise in such assaults.
In Uttar Pradesh, there has been an increase in recent years of reported targeted attacks on minorities, including Muslims, by “extremist Hindu groups”, according to Human Rights Watch.
Many Hindu temples in India do not permit entry to non-Hindus, and the site in Ghaziabad had a sign stating that it was forbidden for Muslims to enter.
The incident involving the boy in Ghaziabad, named only as Asif, reportedly took place last Thursday and was later posted online by one of the suspects, police said.
It showed the teenager being struck in the head, forced to the ground and then repeatedly kicked, including in the groin.
Asif’s father said that his son “was in the area when he felt thirsty. He saw a tap at the temple and began drinking”.
However, managers of the temple have questioned whether the incident was a dispute over water, stating that there was a tap outside, and that Asif should not have entered the temple grounds.
Ghaziabad police have said a caretaker at the temple is a suspect. Another man has been arrested in connection with the filming of the incident, police confirmed on Sunday.
The reaction on social media was swift – and angry.
Indian opposition politician Tejashwi Yadav tweeted that Asif was the victim of a “poisonous ideology that teaches human beings not to be human”.
The hashtag #SorryAsif has been trending on Twitter for much of the weekend.