Chandauli Police in Uttar Pradesh has denied the allegations that the 17-year-old boy Khalid was beaten up and set on fire for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
SP Chandauli: He’s admitted in a hospital with 45% burns. He had given different statements to different people, so it seemed suspicious. It seemed he had been tutored. Police monitored CCTV footage of places he had mentioned & found that he had not been at any of those places. https://t.co/VwQokLzcvd
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 29, 2019
According to police, the eyewitness saw him set himself on fire. The police said that the boy gave two contradictory statements regarding the incident, both of which were found to be false. Chandauli Police found it suspicious and monitored the CCTV footage where he claimed he was. However, as per the police, he was not found in the CCTV footage. “It seemed he had been tutored,” the police said.
The police claims that in one of his statement, the boy had gone for a run at Mandrarkpur village where four people met him, beat him up, threw kerosene on him and set him on fire. SP Chandauli Police Santosh Kumar Singh said that when he talked to him at the hospital, the boy said the incident took place in Chhatel village which was in opposite direction. It was also about 1.5-2 kms from the village he had earlier claimed.
The police said that the boy said the same version of incident to the doctor as well. However, when he was referred to BHU, he informed the police officer accompanying him that he was intercepted by men on a motorbike at Dudhari Pulia. He added that he was forcefully made to sit on the motorbike and took him to ‘Bhatija mod’ which is in yet another opposite direction. He added that there he was dragged into a field and set ablaze.
The police added that it became suspicious when he gave three different versions of the story.
SP Chandauli Police also mentioned that in 2017 some Muslim youths from the Syedraja police station, the jurisdiction under which the incident falls under, got into a brawl with some youths from Mandrarkpur village which the boy mentioned in his first statement. One of the names Khalid mentioned was one Sunil. Sunil hails from Mandrarkpur who was going to file a complaint against the Muslim boys. This further raised the suspicion.
The police further stated that they checked CCTV footage of all the routes Khalid mentioned in all his statements but they could not see him in any of the locations.
The police mentions that they then went on the direction he had not mentioned in any of his claims. From the CCTV camera of one of the residents, Khalid could be spotted at around 5:15 the boy could be spotted walking in burnt condition. The eyewitness who saw the boy said that they mistook him for someone who was coming after fishing and was covered in sand.
The police team then tried to investigate further and went in the direction the boy was seen coming from. About 2 kms further at Saraiya village, there was a dargah where one of his yellow slippers was found. Khalid’s burnt clothes were also found there. The police says that when they were investigating, right across the dargah one Dinesh Maurya, who works as a hawker said that around 4:25 am, when he was distributing newspapers, it was drizzling. He said that one mad person was setting himself on fire and running around. Maurya says he went after the burning boy for a few metres before the boy started running in different direction.
Hence, it was quite clear there Khalid made up the story to perhaps to wrongly accuse someone. The police says that this appears to be a well thought out conspiracy to give it a communal and religious angle through social media. The police has said it will take strict action against anyone who tries to communalise this incident.
This is not the first time a ‘hate crime’ has turned out to be fake. Two weeks back, several media houses had reported that one Imam (Muslim cleric) called Imlaq-Ur-Rehman was assaulted by men and was made to chant Jai Shri Ram. The report also mentioned that his beard was pulled by the assailants and that the police has booked 12 people in connection with this case. OpIndia reached out to Baghpat SP who has categorically rubbished the claims and asserted that Imam Imlaq-Ur-Rehman was not made to chant Jai Shri Ram, his beard was not pulled and there was no religious undertone to this assault. He asserted that this was a case of a petty brawl between some men and the Imam.
Recently in various cities, there have been incidents of violence after Friday prayers by Muslim mobs protesting against “mob lynchings” and alleged incidents of Muslims being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”, though many of such claims have been found to be either false or unverified.