In a shocking incident, a 15-year-old Muslim boy, who was allegedly set ablaze by a group of men for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram” on Tuesday succumbed to his injuries.
On July 28, the boy identified as Khalid was allegedly set on fire as claimed by his family, in Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh by four men for refusing to chant Lord Ram slogan.
He was admitted to the Kabir Chaura Hospital in Varanasi with 60 per cent burns.
However, the Uttar Pradesh Police has denied the allegations by the boy’s family and Chandauli Superintendent of Police (SP) Santosh Kumar Singh claimed that an eye witness had seen the teenager set himself ablaze.
Singh further said that the victim minor had given two different statements while questioning.
Khalid had earlier said that he went for a run to Maharajpur village where he met four men who dragged him to a field and set him on fire. He claimed that the men had also forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and on his refusing to do so, they beat him up and set him on fire.
He later changed his statement and told the police inspector that four men on a motorcycle kidnapped him and took him to Hateeja village, the SP said.
Incidents of mob forcing people to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and related violence have been highly reported from different parts of the country.
On July 18, a constable posted at the Bankura Police Line in West Bengal was assaulted by some drunk youth when he denied chanting Lord Ram slogans.
In June, a madrasa teacher from West Bengal was allegedly beaten up and pushed off a train for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Another 22-year-old youth died in Jharkhand after being attacked by a mob for hours and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.
In yet another incident earlier in June, a man in South 24 Parganas district’s Narendrapur was allegedly beaten up by some BJP supporters for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
In the wake of rising incidents of violence, 49 eminent personalities including actors and filmmakers earlier this month wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concerns over the rising incidents of lynching and the provocative use of “Jai Shri Ram” leading to law and order problems in the country.
The letter stated that the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan had become a provocative “war cry” today.