Kasganj violence: RAF, PAC intensify vigil; 80 arrested

Kasganj (UP): More than 80 persons were arrested while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel intensified vigil today in strife-torn Kasganj which continued to be tense today.

Explosives were found during house to house searches following which the state police chief said that the stringent National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against the culprits.

The Yogi Adityanath government, meanwhile, emphasised that none of the mischief mongers would be spared. Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said that neither the criminals nor conspirators would get away even as the opposition BSP and SP targeted the state government on the law and order front.

At least three shops, two private buses, and a car were torched here yesterday after a young boy was killed in clashes following stone-pelting by a mob on a motorcycle rally was taken out to celebrate the Republic Day.

Uttar Pradesh Police claimed that the situation was now again turning normal.

“We are speaking to the people, the guilty are being arrested, intensive checking and house-to-house searches were undertaken. And this is the reason why the situation is absolutely under control,” DGP OP Singh said in Lucknow.

Referring to the incidents that led to the violence, he said that there was stone pelting between two groups resulting in the death of one person and injury to another.

“The police acted swiftly and controlled the situation, and we have intensified patrolling since the outbreak of the tension,” the DGP said.

Asked whether any permission was taken for a ‘Tiranga Yatra’, the DGP said that no such nod was required.

“January 26 (Republic Day) is a national festival, and no permission is needed. This was a ‘Prabhat pheri’ (morning event)…Some anti-social elements started pelting stones. Police immediately reached the spot and controlled the situation by arresting a few persons. Since then, we are keeping a close watch. Today, there has been no worrisome incident,” he said.

DGP Singh said stringent action will be taken against the guilty.

“So far more than 80 persons have been arrested. House-to-house searches are going on. During the searches, explosives were found. National Security Act (NSA) will be slapped on the criminals for vitiating the atmosphere,” he said.

The administration also organised a meeting of the district peace committee this morning to restore normalcy.

“At the meeting of the peace committee, whose members include prominent citizens of the district, it was decided that shopkeepers will open their shops and commercial establishments,” ADG Agra, Ajay Anand, said.

Divisional Commissioner, Aligarh, Subhash Chandra Sharma, said the peace committee meeting was held at the Nagar panchayat office. He said that shops selling tea, snacks, vegetables, milk, and medicine were already allowed to remain open and normalcy would when others open their shops.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), meanwhile, targeted the BJP over the incident. In a statement issued, BSP chief Mayawati claimed that in the entire country and especially in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, development and public welfare activities had taken a back seat while a poor law and order situation prevailed.

She said the BSP condemned the violence and demands that stringent punishment is given to the guilty persons.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan alleged, “The government is staging riots in Kasganj. We do not want the resignation of the chief minister. We simply want peace and normalcy to return to the trouble-torn place, which is synonymous with the Ganga-Jamuni culture of the state”.

PTI

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