A Sikh officer is being praised as a hero on social media after shielding a young Muslim man from an angry mob in India.
The incident occurred around 12:00 p.m. on May 22 as the man was about to meet his girlfriend, a Hindu, at a temple in Uttarakhand, a state north of the country known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites.
Somehow, locals managed to hear about the man’s visit and decided to storm the temple to “teach the couple a lesson,” Gulf News reported.
Fortunately, there was 28-year-old Gagandeep Singh, a Sikh police officer who saved the man from what could have been a tragic and deadly situation.
“I was on duty in the temple premises when I heard people shouting and bringing this 24-year-old Muslim youth Irfan towards the temple. They had beaten him up near the river bank, nearly 50 metres down from the temple,” Singh told the Hindustan Times.
An investigation revealed that the man was around 24 years of age, while his girlfriend is over 18.
“I held him close to myself and tried to take him away from the angry mob. I used my body as a shield to save him from the blows of the angry mob. It was with much difficulty that I was able to take him away,” he added.
Singh’s bravery was caught in a video that quickly spread on social media. Netizens are now hailing him as a hero.
Singh, who joined the police force in 2015, was also rewarded with 2,500 Indian Rupees ($37) for his courageous gesture.
“I was just doing my duty. I couldn’t have allowed the angry crowd to harm the youth. It would have weighed heavily on my conscience throughout the rest of my life had anything happened to the youth,” he said.
For now, Uttarakhand police are using the viral video to identify the attackers and bring them to justice.
Feature Images via Facebook / Gagandeep Singh (left) and YouTube / The Lallantop (right)