Chandauli: The family of a 17-yr-old boy has alleged that he was set ablaze by some people when he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram‘. However, police here suspect foul play. (Also read: Kerala BJP Leader Asks Adoor Gopalakrishnan to go to Moon if he Doesn’t Like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ Chants) Also Read - Chhath Puja 2020: When is Chhath Puja, Time, Rituals and Significance

SP Chandauli said that the boy, Khalid, has given different statements which were found to be false in the investigation. An eyewitness saw him setting himself ablaze. Also Read - UP Govt Allows Opening of Higher Education Institutes From November 23 Following UGC Guidelines

The SP said, “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 and found that he had not been at any of those places.” Also Read - Rape Victim Dies in Delhi Hospital After Allegedly Being Set Afire by Kin of Accused, 3 Arrested

The incident comes in the wake of similar episodes reported from across the country where people were harassed and even lynched while being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

Earlier this month, as many as 12 youths have been booked for allegedly forcing a Muslim cleric to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ and tugging at his beard in Baghpat district of the state.

Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey said, “Prime facie, it seems to be a matter of physical assault. Even then, the police have registered a case against 12 youngsters on the basis of the cleric’s complaint. Action will be taken against them on the basis of a probe.”

He said that Muzaffarnagar resident Imam Imlaq-ur-Rehman was on his way to his village on his motorcycle on Saturday, when nearly 12 youngsters accosted him, beat him up and also pulled his beard. The Imam claimed he was also forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the SP said.