KASGANJ/LUCKNOW: Peace barely got a chance for a couple of days in riot-hit Kasganj, as the district was singed again by embers of disharmony when unknown persons tried to set a religious place ablaze in the communally sensitive Ganjdundwara Municipal Board area in the wee hours on Monday.
According to Kasganj’s Superintendent of Police Piyush Srivastava, panic gripped Ganjdundwara when some unidentified persons threw kerosene at the gate of a religious place and set it ablaze around 3 am. “Fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot,” he said adding there was no major damage to the structure except the door.
All through Monday, Ganjdundwara remained tense. Panic gripped the town, leaving the markets closed and streets deserted. Policemen were seen guarding the site and patrolling continued unabated. Locals claimed they found a fuel bottle near the site. “A piece of wood with a cloth wrapped on it was also recovered by the police,” said Mohammad Altamash, a resident.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) held a flag march in Ganjdundwara and more police personnel were deployed. Senior officers, including District Magistrate R P Singh and Piyush Srivstava stayed put in the field and claimed the situation was under control.
“The priest saw the fire and alerted us. We rushed in and doused it. In the evening, a new door was constructed,” said Abdullah Qureshi, another resident.
The police filed a case against unidentified persons for the arson attack, and put two constables on night patrol under suspension for dereliction of duty.
A peace meeting between the leaders and prominent members of the two communities was organised following which some business establishment were opened for some time in the afternoon.
It all began last month after communal riots broke out in Kasganj following a dispute between members of two communities over an ‘illegal’ Tiranga Yatra on Republic Day.
What’s in a name
Ganjdundwara is sleepy town in Kasganj under Aligarh zone in western UP. Situated on the banks of the Ganga, it is better known for its lovers of Bollywood music. Radio station, Vividh Bharti, used to receive frequent letters of request for songs from listeners in Ganjdundwara