After the violent clashes in UP’s Kasganj on Republic Day, the district magistrate of nearby Bareilly district, Raghvendra Vikram Singh, on Sunday, questioned why it has become a ‘custom’ for some to forcefully enter localities where Muslims reside, raise ‘anti-Pakistan’ slogans and create a ruckus in a scathing post on Facebook. Raghvendra Vikram Singh had posted on Sunday, two days after communal clashes had broken out in Kasganj district. The post is now no longer available on his Facebook profile.
In the post, Singh wrote, “Ajab rivaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo me jabrdasti julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyon bhai, ve Pakistani hain kya? (A very strange custom has come up. Carry out processions in Muslim localities and recite slogans of ‘Pakistan down down’. Why brother, are they Pakistanis?)”
He also referred to communal clashes in Khailam of Bareilly district last year in his post on Sunday. “Yehi yahan Bareilly mein Khailam mein hua tha. Fir patharav hua, mukadme likhe gaye (
… This is what happened at Khailam, Bareilly. Stones were pelted after that and cases were registered),” he wrote. Communal clashes had broken out in Khailam in July last year after Kanwariyas and 15 Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel insisted on taking out their procession through the area which has a substantial Muslim population. Around 250 Muslims were booked.
Before apparently deleting the post, he wrote another post on Facebook. He wrote, “I had hoped there will be an academic discussion (on the violence) but unfortunately it took a different course. I’m extremely sad. Self-improvement is the main aim of a discussion. It appears that my intentions to promote dialogue was resented by certain people.”
Regarding the recent violence in Kasganj, he told the Hindustan Times, “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.”
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had reportedly organised a ‘tiranga yatra’ on Republic Day, without getting permission from the administration. The clash is believed to have begun after the bike rally had to stop because members of a locality were holding an Indian-flag hoisting ceremony and chairs had been arranged on the road.
The clashes resulted in the death of a 22-year-old Chandan Gupta after a bullet hit him on the chest. His father has denied that he was a member of any right-wing organisation.
In the ensuing violence, a 35-year-old Akram Habib from Lakhimpur Kheri district also lost an eye. He was coming to his wife’s home in Kasganj on Republic Day since his pregnant wife was expected to deliver in a day.
There have been instances of violence being reported from Monday night as well from the district, as a shop was set on fire by unidentified men. Scroll reports that more than 112 people have been taken into custody in relation to the violence.