Four madrasa students in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district have alleged that they were forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, and were assaulted when they refused to do so.
According to the complaint filed by the principal of the Darul Uloom Faiz-e-Aam madrasa, Nisar Ahmed Miswahi, four men thrashed the four students on Thursday after they refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, and were also given life threats.
Miswahi told The Indian Express, “Students from the madrasa go to the GIC ground to play every Thursday because we have a half-working day… Around six-seven children had gone to play. Some of them ran away when some youths arrived there. These youths not only assaulted the boys, but also used objectionable language…”
In the evening, IG, law and order, Praveen Kumar said at a press conference that the incident occurred when two groups of children clash while playing cricket match. Later, few others from one group involved. “In the preliminary inquiry it has been found no slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ were made and also some named in the FIR were found not present at the spot. The investigation is on.”
An FIR was lodged against four people — Kranti Singh, his associates Aditya Shukla and Kamal and one unidentified person. Police have detained Shukla and Kamal, while Singh is yet to be caught.
Kotwali police station SHO Dinesh Chandra Mishra said, “We have booked the accused under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation).”
Singh was recently appointed the district secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — the BJP’s youth wing, the organisation’s district chief Bhanu Mishra confirmed. “This is a conspiracy. There is no religious angle. The persons named in the FIR were not even present at the spot when the incident happened,” he claimed.
Earlier in the day, Unnao Superintendent of Police M P Verma, in a statement on Twitter, said, “Yesterday (Thursday), 10-12 boys from the Darul Uloom madrasa had gone to play cricket at the GIC ground. There was a row over playing cricket there. The students were assaulted by four persons and sustained injuries. We got a complaint and lodged a case. Two persons have been taken into custody and are being questioned. The investigation conducted till now has not been able to verify allegations regarding chanting of Jai Shri Ram.” Circle Officer, City, Umesh Chandra Tyagi said police were interrogating Shukla and Kamal.
Their detention led to protests by pro-Hindu groups at the Kotwali police station. On Friday morning, BJYM, VHP and Bajrang Dal workers gheraoed the police station, demanded that the two be released, and called for a fair and impartial probe into the incident. The VHP later submitted a memorandum to the Verma, saying “no innocent should be punished”.