New Delhi: A 17-year-old boy whose family had alleged he was set ablaze for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

Mohammad Khalid, a resident of Saiyadraja area, had sustained nearly 50 per cent burn injuries after he was allegedly set ablaze by some men on Monday. The victim had claimed that he was kidnapped by the same men who later poured kerosene on him and set him ablaze for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram‘.

Suspecting foul play, Chandauli Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh had repeatedly questioned the victim and concluded that the teenager had changed his statements thrice. “When police recorded his statement in the district hospital, he gave a contradictory reply. He also gave different statements to different people… It seems that he was tutored to mould the issue for getting attention,” Singh said. Moreover, there is an eye-witness in the case who saw Khalid setting himself ablaze, added the SP.

The SP Chandauli also noted that strict action will be taken against those who were spreading rumours on social media in an attempt to disturb peace and harmony among communities.

Soon after the incident, Khalid was admitted to a nearby government hospital where he received preliminary treatment. The victim was then referred to a government hospital in Varanasi. An investigation was undertaken in the case and police thoroughly scanned the CCTV footage.

This incident comes in the wake of several such cases of harassment and mob lynching reported from across the country for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.