THE CHANDAULI police have arrested three men for allegedly trying to cause a communal flare-up by spreading rumours on social media that a 16-year-old boy was set on fire by local youths belonging to another community after he refused to chant Jai Shri Ram. The boy died during treatment at BHU in Varanasi on July 30.
Police said the three arrested were all residents of Chandauli.
SHO of the local police station concerned claimed that the accused instigated the teenager’s father by asking him to claim to mediapersons that his son was set ablaze after he refused to chant Jai Shri Ram. The police had questioned this claim by the family and also flagged “contradictions” in the teenager’s statements.
The three were booked under IPC sections 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli gious beliefs), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 182 (False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person), said police.
They were produced before a local court of Chandauli that sent them to jail, said SP Singh.
On July 28, the brother of the teenager got an FIR registered against unidentified youths from nearby Maharajpur village alleging that they set ablaze his brother after pouring kerosene on him. He had suffered 50 per cent burns, mostly on the stomach and face. Doctors had referred him to BHU in Varanasi where he died during treatment two days later.
A case was registered at the local police station under IPC sections 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 307 (attempt to murder).
Police claimed that after the FIR was registered, the victim’s family members had made false allegations that four unidentified persons him on fire after he refused to chant Jai Shri Ram.
During investigation, police said they found posts with this claim circulating on Whatsapp in the area and that these messages originated from three local youths.
“Investigation into the case is still on. So far, we have not found any evidence suggesting that someone had set the teenager ablaze,” said Singh.