|Picture for representational purpose|
The police in Uttar Pradesh have registered a case against 10 boys for wearing T-shirts of Pakistani cricket team during a Muharran procession. They have been charged for acting “prejudicial to national integration and causing communal disharmony”.
The boys, aged under 12, were part of the Muharram procession in Kalyan Chapad Chotta village in Kushinagar district, considered communally sensitive. The Indian Express reported that the police have named five boys in the case while five others are yet to be named.
The daily cited SP Kushinagar Lalit Kumar Singh as saying, “An FIR has been lodged but nobody has been arrested”. He did not explain why the case was registered.
Kushinagar DM Lokesh M told the newspaper that it was a small issue and the district administration is trying to sort it out.
“These children were wearing those T-shirts and once it was pointed out, they removed it immediately,” he said. He added that the police have not given him any report yet.
The family members of the boys were reportedly not ready to speak because of fear.
Shakir Ali, a local social activist, however, said the issue was being unnecessarily exaggerated.
“These T-shirts are readily available with a local sports shop. A group of boys had picked these T-shirts so that they could wear them during the stick playing tradition during the Muharram procession,” the daily quoted him as saying.
“They had done it without knowing that it would get them into trouble. Once someone pointed it out, they removed it immediately.
“How is wearing a T-shirt of a country that is readily available in a store here seditious?” he asked.
The activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini have burnt Pakistani flags at different places in the district on Wednesday and sought action against the boys, the report further said citing sources.