At least 49 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence which broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj district on Saturday after five shops were torched by a mob while they were returning from the cremation of Chandan Gupta who died in firing between two groups on Friday. The communal clash had erupted over an unauthorised rally to mark the Republic Day.
“49 people have been arrested in connection with Kasganj clash. Section 144 is still imposed. Borders have been sealed,” ANI quoted District Magistrate RP Singh as saying.
He also said that all internet services were suspended in the district from 5 pm today to 10 pm on Sunday.
Several properties have been vandalised even as police has reached the spot to control the situation, reported ANI.
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Police had said on Twitter that at least nine persons were arrested in connection with the incident. “A complaint has been filed at the Kasganj Police Station and nine involved persons have been arrested so far. A special team has also been constituted and we are trying to arrest others involved as well.”
उक्त घटना में थाना कोतवाली कासगंज पर तत्काल अभियोग पंजीकृत कर 09 अभियुक्तों को गिरफ्तार किया जा चुका है एवं विशेष टीम का गठन कर शेष अभियुक्तों की गिरफ्तारी हेतु हर सम्भव प्रयास किये जा रहे हैं । https://t.co/wQu9TYVlKj
— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) January 27, 2018
On Friday, police said, “Chandan Gupta (22) died after being hit on the chest by a bullet and Noushad was admitted to a hospital in neighbouring Aligarh district after being shot in the leg. Both groups hurled stones at each other in Kasganj town before shots were fired.”
Ripudaman Singh, Station House Officer, Kasganj, said the clash occurred after a group in Badu Nagar objected to certain slogans 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.
Meanwhile, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav condemned the violence and demanded action against culprits.
“This, happening on Republic Day is unfortunate. People of Kasganj respect each other. We want action against culprits but no injustice should be done,” ANI quoted Akhilesh as saying.
However, the violence was later contained after a team deployed for Republic Day celebrations at the Reserve Police lines, 16 km away, rushed to the spot.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, following the clash, had issued an appeal through his official Twitter account for “peace and harmony” and had directed the administration to “take strict action against miscreants”.
An Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been formed to find the remaining accused, reports ANI.