LUCKNOW/KASGANJ: On a day another accused was arrested in connection with the Kasganj flare-up, senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav stirred the communal cauldron further, alleging that the Uttar Pradesh government was needlessly targeting Muslims in the Chandan Gupta killing as the bullet that claimed his life was fired by a Hindu.
Speaking at an event in Mainpuri, the SP national general secretary said his party would not tolerate such exploitation of the minority community. “We will not keep silent. While taking out the Tiranga Yatra through the Muslim-dominated locality, Hindu Yuva Vahini youths raised objectionable slogans,” he alleged.
Ram Gopal claimed the “high-handedness of the Hindus” had prompted the minority community to react, leading to the stone-pelting and firing in which Chandan Gupta lost his life. “Multiple videos of Republic Day clashes in Kasganj are going viral. They show that the bullet which hit Chandan Gupta was fired by a Hindu but the blame has been shifted to Muslims,” he alleged.
The Kasganj clash had erupted after a dispute over a controversial Tiranga Yatra. Chandan Gupta, who was allegedly leading the yatra on a motorbike, got caught in the stone-pelting and firing and lost his life.
The accused arrested on Tuesday, who goes by the name of Salman, is the sixth person to be picked up by Kasganj police. He has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the National Flag Act.
A police statement said he was arrested from Kisrauli road and that a 12-mm country revolver and two live cartridges were recovered from him.
Salman’s family, however, claimed that he had been framed. “My brother is innocent. As the time given to him to surrender lapsed on February 1, he surrendered on Monday night,” his sister, Sonam, claimed.
Salman’s mother said, “My son was not even there when the incident occurred. He is learning stone work in Aligarh and had come home only because of bad health. He has nothing to do with all this.” Political observers see Ram Gopal’s remarks as a bid to polarise communities on religious lines in favour of the Samajwadi Party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The remarks have left the SP red in the face with party chief Akhilesh Yadav demanding a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for Chandan Gupta’s family. The family met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who assured them all help.
The Kasganj clash had erupted after a dispute over a controversial Tiranga Yatra
The accused arrested on Tuesday, who goes by the name of Salman, is the sixth person to be picked up by Kasganj police