The recent incident of a Nepali man being tonsured and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ had created quite a storm across the nation. After media outlets blamed ‘Hindu outfits’ for the incident, it came to light that the man responsible for performing the said act on the Nepali man was one Arun Pathak, who belonged to the Shiv Sena, currently a ‘secular’ party after its recent alliance with the Congress and the NCP.
Now, more details have emerged regarding the matter. Varanasi Police has now confirmed that the Nepali man in question is an Indian citizen. They also said in a statement on social media that six people have been arrested over the matter. The six arrested in the case are Santosh Pandey, Ashish Mishra, Raju Yadav, Amit Dubey, Rajesh Rajbhar and Jay Ganesh Sharma.
Furthermore, it has now been confirmed that the whole incident was a pre-planned act. As per reports, the so-called Nepali youth, identified as Dharmendra Singh, was contacted by Arun Pathak’s men 16th July and was told that his services are required for a couple of hours at Ganga Ghat. He was told that there is some event where he would have tonsure his head and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. For his services, he would be given Rs. 1000.
A statement issued by Varanasi police says that the person whose head was tonsured lives in a govt quarter of the Water Resource department in Bhelpur in Varanasi. Both his parents used to work in the department, and now his brother is an employee of the department. The police also state that his family and his forefathers had no connection with Nepal. Dharmendra Singh knows Arun Pathak, Rajseh Rajbhar and Jay Ganesh, says the police statement.
Amar Ujala’s report says that Dharmendra Singh has said that he was unemployed for the previous four months following the lockdown. Earlier, he used to work at a Saree Store. Thus, he thought that Rs. 1000 for two hours work was easy money and the hair would always grow back. The Police is still questioning him regarding the matter and the investigation will move forward based on his statement.
The whole incident, which is now reported to have been staged, gained widespread notoriety amidst tensions between India and Nepal. Nepal’s ambassador Nilamber Acharya even spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and urged him to ensure the safety of Nepalese citizens. The incident came after Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made the ridiculous claim that India had invented a ‘fake Ayodhya’ and the real Ayodhya was in Nepal. He had also claimed that Prabhu Shri Ram was a Nepali.
Under such circumstances, it cannot be ruled out that the paid stunt was orchestrated to embarrass the NDA Government at the Center and the Yogi Government in Uttar Pradesh. However, only further investigation will confirm whether it was the case.