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Man declared ‘dead’ in Kasganj speaks up: ‘People were using me to incite violence’

Kasganj violence: Police have detained 82 people and arrested 31 persons. No arrests have been made under the charges of murder yet, police said. Meanwhile, a reporter of a TV channel was allegedly shoved by relatives of Gupta on Monday.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal , Abhishek Angad | Kasganj | Updated: January 30, 2018 8:41 pm
Man declared ‘dead’ in Kasganj speaks up: ‘People were using me to incite violence’ Kasganj violence: Rahul Upadhyay (24) was declared dead by some “rumour mongers” on social media, according to police (Photo Gajendra Yadav)

He sat in Kotwali Police station at Kasganj, camera lenses trained at him. Asked a question, he reiterated what should have been obvious but was no longer the case. “I assure you, I am alive.”

Rahul Upadhyay (24) was declared dead by some “rumour mongers” on social media, according to police. The “news” picked up and was carried in a number of newspapers. The 24-year-old media graduate from Noida, who now runs a small news outlet received a phone call on Saturday, asking him if was dead. “At first, I was surprised and thought someone was joking. Then I received another call and then another. That is when I realised something was wrong.”

From a family of farmers, Upadhyay was at home in Nagla Khanji village in Aligarh. After learning of his “death”, he received snapshots of social media images announcing his death. “I realised there were people who were using me to try and instigate further violence. The narrative was a, out Hindus being killed and I reached out to police and district administration. Eventually I got through.”

Kasganj violence: Both sides had Tricolour, fight was over right of way Security forces patrol Kasganj town, Saturday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

IG, Aligarh, Sanjeev Gupta on Monday requested Upadhyay to meet as many mediapersons as possible. “Contrary to rumours spread on social media, Rahul Upadhyay is alive,” he told reporters. Afterwards, while speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “Even we were very surprised. There was no person of this name who lived in the area, let alone being injured in the violence. But there were some who were trying to spread these rumours. We have made four arrests.”

Rahul, the rumours claimed, died along with Abhishek Gupta in communal clashes in Kasganj on Friday. The violence was triggered by a march to mark the Republic Day. Sparring groups of Hindus and Muslims, who started with hurling stones at each other, later fired shots, which left Gupta (22) dead. The next day saw a second spate of violence during which several Muslim-owned shops were gutted in retaliation to Gupta’s death, said police.

Police has so far detained 82 people and arrested 31 persons in connection with the violence. No arrests have been made under the charges of murder yet, police said.

Meanwhile, a reporter with a media channel was allegedly shoved by relatives of the deceased Gupta Monday, said police. Speaking about the incident, IG Gupta said, “The family members were not happy with the news coverage done by this channel. It was good that police reached in time and we were able to prevent an untoward incident.”

As 24-year-old Rahul moved around the police station, many congratulated him “for being alive”, others for “becoming famous”. One local community leader went to him and said, “You’re now famous. You can do good for the community by spreading a message of peace.”

He replied, “I didn’t want to become famous like this.”

ALSO READ: Kasganj violence ‘blot on UP, shameful’, says Governor; SP shunted out

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  1. Abhishek Oza
    Feb 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm
    Right from day 1 of Kasganj violence, I never read the name of this man at all. From Jan 23 to Today. From Amar Ujala to Times ( more than 20 new paper sites), this man's name never appeared anywhere. Who declared him dead? Where? How?
    1. S
      Jan 31, 2018 at 11:01 am
      Another cunning tactics of Indian Express Group to mislead the nation using some rumours !!! The ised media is out to cover up a gruesome murder of a patriot Indian at the hands of traitor community in a well planned manner ! Instead of going out to denounce the elements which object against Bharat Mata ki Jai , this news media group is out to belittle the incident and malign the nationalists , we all have seen how you kept the pot boiling on death of Akhlak or Junaid... shame on you Editorial teams of Indian Express.
      1. D
        Dr. Strange
        Jan 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm
        This is just a tactic by him to get famous after all he is a graduate in pres utology from noida... i feel both hindu and muslim are responsible for the violence...
        1. Indian Singh
          Jan 30, 2018 at 8:12 pm
          The Kasganj VIOLENCE commenced because FEW INDIANS decided to block a PUBLIC ROAD made with TAX PAID by ALL INDIANS by placing CHAIRS on the road for a function to UNFLURE National Flag on the occasion of Indian Republic Day which prevented the use of the road by FEW OTHER INDIANS who wanted to hold a MOTOR CYCLE RALLY with National Flag. ........... Altercation happened and REST is HISTORY. .............. The organisers who BLOCKED PUBLIC ROAD should all be ARRESTED FIRST as they commenced the RIOTS.
          1. Sankara Menon
            Jan 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm
            For indian Express death one can be obfuscated by a misreport made by some #pres ute probably deliberately as part of a plan?
            1. blackpower 666
              Jan 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm
              on the contrary -we indian exp reports proper news meant for homo sapiens not hindutva. for hindutvas like u hot news is always there for you in the saffron toilet papers organiser and panchjanya
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