LUCKNOW: Revealing the truth of the Chanduali incident where a teenage boy had died of burns, the district police arrested three persons for allegedly spreading communal hatred on social media by claiming that the boy was set ablaze by some elements for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan in Syedraja area of eastern UP district on Sunday. The boy had succumbed at Varanasi divisional hospital on Tuesday, police said.
As per the district police authorities, after the incident, Azam, Zahid and Guddu Sonkar, now in police net, had provoked Khaliq’s family to issue a false and fabricated statement that he was set afire by four youths on refusing to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’.
According to Chanduali Superintendent of police, Santosh Kumar Singh, during investigation it came to light that the victim Abdul Khaliq, 17, went to Shaheed Kale Khan Baba mausoleum for ‘learning’ some magic and set himself on fire there. His slipper and half burnt clothes were also recovered from there, he added.
According to the cops, after the incident Khaliq’s statement was initially recorded in which the boy said he went for attending nature’s call near Manrajpur village where four youths with their faces covered allegedly caught him and poured kerosene on him before setting him afire. Then he changed his statement saying four persons met him near Kshatem village, which is around 2 km off Manrajpur in opposite direction. He later on changed his statement over the spot of the incident.
“The boy is constantly changing his statement. CCTV footages examined by police do not show him in certain places he mentioned,” said the officer.
The district police chief had rebut the claim of the victim and his family saying that discrepancies were found in statements of the boy and that of an eyewitness, a newspaper hawker Dinesh Maurya.
As per the SP, the eyewitness confirmed that there was no one around and the victim was alone at the time of incident. “Till noon it was a case of boy being set afire by unidentified men. But in the afternoon, the victim and his mother were allegedly convinced by some anti-social elements to draw ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan into it to get immediate attention,” said the officer.
However, later the mother of the deceased accepted that her son was not set ablaze for refusing the slogan, said the police sources.
The police authorities said that the three persons arrested also spread the rumour on social media with an intention to create religious frenzy. They said a probe revealed that they were involved in spreading false information. Thereafter, a case was registered against them under section 153 A (promoting enmity on different groups on ground of religion), 295A (malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings), 420 (cheating), 120 B (conspiracy), 182 (false information) of the IPC and the 66 IT Act was registered against them and the trio was subsequently arrested.