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UP Police drops ‘promoting enmity’ charge against Muslim vendor who sold ‘Thakur shoes’

Bulandshahr police says investigation has found that allegations against shoe vendor Nasir about promoting enmity based on religion were ‘false’.

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New Delhi: Day after registering a case against a Muslim shoe vendor for selling shoes with ‘Thakur’ written on their soles, the Bulandshahr police in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday said they have removed the IPC Section 153A from the FIR, which pertains to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, race, language etc.

Nasir, the shoe vendor, was booked on a complaint by a local resident, Vishal Chauhan, who alleged that the shoes sold by him had caste-identifying words, and that it hurt his religious sentiments. 

An FIR under IPC sections 153A, 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) was lodged against Nasir Tuesday at the Gulawathi police station. 

Speaking to ThePrint Wednesday, Additional Superintendent of Police (City) Atul Kumar Srivastava said Section 153A has been revoked after investigation revealed that allegations of promoting enmity on grounds of religion and caste against Nasir were “false”. 

“No evidence was found against Nasir during the course of investigation. Hence the section has been removed. It was found to be false,” Srivastava said.

About the other IPC sections in the FIR against Nasir, Srivastava said “further investigation” into the case is on and action will be taken after all facts have been verified. 

Asked if the company that manufactured the shoes was questioned, the police said investigations were going on, refusing to share further details.

Case a ‘scuffle’ between accused & complainant

In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, the Bulandshahr police said Nasir was brought to the police station only for interrogation and wasn’t arrested. He was let off Tuesday after preliminary investigation found that case was a “scuffle” between Chauhan and Nasir.

Responding to the outrage over the case, the police said in the statement, “Had the police not taken action against the accused in the case, people would have reacted differently or criticised the police.” 

Last month, the UP government had refuted viral media claims that vehicles with stickers declaring castes shall be seized. Government officials had stated that having caste stickers on vehicles is already an offence that warrants a fine and not seizure of the vehicle. 

Also read: UP Muslim man ‘elopes’ with a Hindu girl, police put 13 of his family in jail for ‘conspiracy’


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