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BSP chief Mayawati on Monday alleged that a "wrong practice" of forcing people to chant religious slogans has begun in Uttar Pradesh, and a few other states, while seeking tough action against it from the Centre and state governments.
Mayawati's remarks came after a cleric claimed that he was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'.
"In some states, including Uttar Pradesh, a wrong practice of forcing people to chant religious slogans and committing atrocities has begun, and it should be condemned," she tweeted.
In her post on the micro-blogging site in Hindi, she also said, "There is a need for the Centre and state governments to take tough actions against it so that brotherhood and harmony is maintained everywhere and development is not affected."
Citing a complaint lodged by the cleric, SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey said Imam Imlaq-ur-Rehman, a Muzaffarnagar resident, was going to his village on his motorcycle on Saturday, when nearly 12 youngsters accosted him, beat him up and also pulled his beard.
The UP Police has booked nearly 12 youths in the matter, the SP added.