Communal violence continued unabated for the second day on Saturday in Kasganj district of western Uttar Pradesh, the fresh outbreak coming after the cremation of a young man killed yesterday.
Curfew has been imposed in the Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh, reported India Today, after several incidents of arson in which shops were torched and five buses were vandalised.
The clashes started when members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Vishva Hindu Parishad took out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ on the Mathura – Bareli highway to mark the 69th Republic Day, without permission from the administration on Friday.
The clash occurred after a group in Badu Nagar objected to certain slogans being raised by motorcycle-borne participants of the “Tiranga Yatra”, which had started from the Bilram Gate area. According to police, another trigger for the clash was an altercation in which a member of one group allegedly slapped a youth of the other group.
NDTV reported that a video clip of the bike rally shows hundreds of young men, many of them holding the National Flag and saffron flag, standing on the streets in one of the streets of the town.
This is where they had been reportedly told by local residents from another community to take a different route. In the background, some voices can be heard saying that they would not change their route. Someone else raises the slogan that everyone would have to say Vande Mataram if they want to stay in India.
The violence started soon after; it started with hurling stones with each other and ended with gunshots being fired. In between, motorcycles were set on fire, stones thrown at passing vehicles and a place of worship set on fire.
A young man Chandan Gupta (22) died after being hit on the chest by a bullet in the clashes, and another man Noushad was admitted to a hospital in neighbouring Aligarh district after being shot in the leg.
There were reports that crude bombs were hurled and gun shots were fired. Around half-a-dozen persons got injured.
Chandan Gupta’s body was taken for cremation to Kali Nadi early on Saturday where BJP MP Rajveer Singh alias Raju Bhaiyya – the son of former chief ministr Kalyan Singh – reached along with Kasganj MLA Devendra Singh Rajput, also from BJP, said a report in The Hindustan Times (HT).
The crowd gathered for the cremation raised slogans and demanded that Chandan be accorded the status of a martyr and adequate relief and government job be provided for his family members. These demands were conveyed to the state government by the supportive MP and MLA and assurances given with regard to addressing the demands, reported HT.
The agitated crowd returning from the cremation raised slogans and went on to indulge in violence and arson, burning shops and buses.
By the time cops arrived, about a dozen vehicles were already torched and some public properties were damaged, said media reports.
“Battalions of PAC and RAF have been pressed into service and the district has been divided into sectors for effective patrolling. The situation is under control and teams have been formed to nab the culprits,” OP Singh, the newly appointed DGP of UP, said.
The Kasganj police said nine people had been arrested in connection with the violence and a special probe team has been constituted to identify and catch the other suspects, reported NDTV.