LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government has denied that students of a madarasa in Unnao district were forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram', saying that the news was wrongly spread to malign the government's image.
Principal Secretary, Information, Avanish Awasthi admitted that a clash took place while the children were playing cricket but denied that the students were made to chant the religious slogan.
He said that news was being wrongly spread to malign the state government image and disturb communal harmony.
According to reports, four men beat the children and forced them to chant 'Jai Shree Ram' while they went to play cricket after concluding their namaaz on Thursday afternoon. Their clothes were torn off and their bicycles vandalized.
The children returned to the madarasa and narrated the incident after which police was called.
According to the Imam of the Jama Masjid, a group of men from Bajrang Dal were involved in the incident.
The police had registered a case and identified three accused by tracing their Facebook accounts. The accused have purportedly identified themselves as members of Bajrang Dal in their social media accounts. However, no arrests were made in the case.
This is not for the first time that an incident like this has came to light in Uttar Pradesh.
In a similar incident which took place on July 4, a group of men locked up an auto driver in a washroom and pelted stones at him. The auto driver, Mohammad Aatib, alleged that he was attacked by the men for refusing to chant 'Jai Shree Ram'.
Earlier, a Muslim youth, who was wearing a skull cap, was allegedly thrashed and insulted in Kanpur by some unidentified persons after he refused to chant 'Jai Sri Ram'. The attack took place when the youth, identified as Taj Mohammad, was returning to his home in the Barra area from the madarasa.