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Birthday ‘celebrated’ in crematorium; Maha police file case

Maharashtra police have filed a case against some anti-superstition movement activists after they “celebrated” a boy’s birthday and consumed non-veg food at a crematorium, in an attempt to create social awareness.

Police on Tuesday registered an offence against the Parbhani district president of Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), an organisation dedicated to fighting superstition, and others for holding the birthday party and serving non-veg food at a crematorium at Jintur tehsil, an official said.

Pandharinath Shinde of MANS “celebrated” the birthday of his son in the crematorium on September 19, the official said on Wednesday. Shinde’s kin and friends were present, he added.

“As part of the birthday celebration, Shinde served non-veg food to the guests. Some of those present clicked the event photos, which went viral on social media,” the official said.

Some local newspapers published news of the event, after which Shinde was criticised by some Hindu groups for hurting religious sentiments, the official said.

On Monday, some people went to the crematorium along with a priest and sprinkled “Gomutra” (cow urine) to “purify” it, he said. They also chanted mantras inside the crematorium, he added.

After Jintur BJP unit president Rajesh Wattamwar lodged a complaint Monday, police Tuesday filed an FIR against Shinde and others, under IPC section 295 (defiling a place of worship with intent to insult religion ), Jintur Police Inspector Sonaji Amle said.

“As the birthday party was organised by Shinde, we have mentioned his name in the FIR and other accused persons are being identified,” the official said. No arrests have been made so far, he added.

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