A video from Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj, where communal clashes broke out on Republic Day, has emerged in which a group of men can be seen on a road armed with guns, clubs and sticks. Several gunshots can also be heard in the video reportedly filmed from the rooftop around the time a young man, Chandan Gupta, was being shot dead.
According to sources, the police are investigating the video to establish the sequence of events and those responsible for the clashes. Not long after this video was taken, mobs would go on the rampage, burning cars, shops and houses.
Meanwhile, the clashes erupted on Republic Day after a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ was being carried out by the activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to mark the Republic Day. The clashes started after an argument between the two groups when the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ was moving through a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood. Visuals of 22-year-old Chandan Gupta participating in the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ are also among the clips that have emerged. He can be seen driving a bike with two others on it. There are several bikes, driven at a high speed, with the riders holding up the national flags and saffron ones. The men can be heard shouting “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki jai”.
The violence escalated after Gupta’s death, with several “revenge” attacks over three days. The police have filed seven FIRs or First Information Reports related to the communal clashes and subsequent violence and arson. Over 100 have been arrested. Other pictures circulated by the police show peace committee meetings between the elders of both communities to restore peace in Kasganj, which has a population of about two lakh. There is heavy police presence across the town.