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After creating row Bareilly DM remove his controversial FB post on Kasganj violence

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(G.N.S) Dt. 30

Lucknow

– Magisterial inquiry ordered in Kasganj clash

A 23-year-old man was killed after a communal violence broke out in the small town nearly 340 km northwest of Lucknow on Friday. A preliminary investigation said the clashes broke out after a group of men took out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in the Muslim-dominated Baddu Nagar area on Republic Day. The district magistrate of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly has created a stir with a post on Facebook saying there is a growing trend of people taking out processions in areas where Muslims live and raising slogans against Pakistan, referring to the recent communal violence in Kasganj.

Raghvendra Vikkram Singh, the Bareilly district magistrate who had put up a post on Facebook that appeared to blame right-wing Hindu groups for provoking communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh, removed the post.

Mr Singh’s now-deleted post said a “strange trend” had started of late. “To visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why? Are they (Muslims) Pakistanis?” The same thing had happened in Khailam village of Bareilly. Then stones were thrown, FIRs lodged,” the officer’s post, in Hindi, that was seen in context of the Kasganj violence and triggered a controversy, said.

A short service commission army officer before joining the civil services, Mr Singh, 59, was last year posted as district magistrate of Bareilly, about 100 km from Kasganj town.

He put up the Facebook post on Sunday, just two days after 22-year-old student of commerce Chandan Gupta died in communal clashes that broke out in a Muslim-majority locality of Kasganj during a “Tiranga bike rally” by members of the local unit of the RSS-affiliated students’ group, ABVP.

Governor Ram Naik had called the Kasganj violence a “blot” for the state ruled by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The situation in Kasganj is still tense but a heavy deployment of police personnel combined with a crackdown on hooligans in the district has ensured peace.

Two more people were also injured in the Kasganj violence. Naushad, a labourer on his way back home, was hit by a bullet in his leg in the clashes that killed Chandan Gupta. In the violence and arson that followed, Mohd Akram was also injured when a mob out for revenge dragged him out of his Maruti car and tried to gouge out his eye.

The administration hasn’t elaborated on what triggered the Kasganj violence. A cell phone video of the rally accessed by NDTV shows hundreds of young men, many holding saffron flags, standing at one of the streets.  Reports say they were asked by locals to move off, but they refused. In the video, they could be heard saying they won’t change route. Slogans were being shouted, that said everyone will have to say “Vande Mataram” if they wish to live in India.

Reports have suggested that the police had not given permission for the bike rally.

Mr Singh later told reporters that his point was that “you need to have police permission or permission by the administration for certain things”.

“The problems of law and order that we are facing… if someone does these things without proper permission from the administration, so many problems happen. When you are aggressive without a reason, when you do not seek police permission, you defy, there are many problems…  Sometimes these things take a turn and incidents like Muzaffarnagar happen. Restraint is what is needed,” he said.

“Ajab riwaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo main julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyun bhai woh Pakistani hain kya? (A strange tradition has been formed. To visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis)?” RV Singh wrote on Sunday.

Over hundred people have been arrested on charges of murder and violence.

“It was a small incident, but see how big its implications were. The SP of Kasganj has been transferred and people are questioning the working of the district magistrate. These incidents affect the ongoing developmental work,” Singh said over the phone.

Singh, who took charge as the DM of Bareilly in 2017, was a commissioned officer in the Indian Army.

Singh also wrote about a similar incident in Khelam area of Bareilly last year when a group of kanwariyas or the devotees of Lord Shiva went through a Muslim-dominated village and allegedly raised slogans against Pakistan.

“What is the need of raising such slogans? Even I will stop someone shouting such slogans outside my residence without any reason,” the DM said.

The post got 235 reactions before it was taken down.

State finance minister and MLA from Bareilly City Rajesh Agarwal said he had not read the comment posted by Singh.

“But considering that he is a former army officer, I can say that he will never say anything against our country or in favour of Pakistan,’’ Agarwal added.

The Yogi Adityanath government shunted out district police chief Sunil Kumar Singh three days after the communal strife even as director general of police OP Singh shot off directives asking the police to deal firmly with those who break the law.

The action came soon after Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik described the Kasganj clashes as a “kalank” (blot) on the state and asked the government to ensure there was no recurrence.

Magisterial inquiry ordered in Kasganj clash

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to probe the violence that erupted in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj last week, said police on Tuesday.

A  Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been constituted to probe incidence, said Sanjeev Kumar, Aligarh Inspector General.

A person was killed and two others injured after a clash broke out between two communities during ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in Kasganj city on Republic day.

Both the groups reportedly pelted stones at each other and also fired bullets.

As of now, 32 people have been arrested on charges of murder in connection with the case.

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“32 people have been sent to jail so far under charges of murder. Besides them 51 people have been detained”, said IG.

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