LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday claimed to have busted an “international conspiracy” to foment caste conflagration in the state to defame the Yogi Adityanath government over the Hathras gang-rape and murder case. Police have registered 19 FIRs across the state in connection with spreading rumours and trying to vitiate the atmosphere.
At least six persons, including two in Lucknow, have been arrested in connection with the alleged conspiracy.
The police sources claimed that intelligence agencies have indicated alleged involvement of the organisations such as Amnesty International, PFI, and SDPI along with workers and leaders of a number of mainstream political parties in the conspiracy to tarnish the state government’s image in the garb of seeking justice for Hathras victim. Moreover, the evidence of international funding has also come to the fore in this regard.
Interacting with media persons, UP Additional Director General of Police (Law & order) Prashant Kumar claimed on Monday that ‘conspiracy’ was hatched to push the state into caste conflagration and turmoil which was unearthed by the cops.
"Some specific groups used social media platforms to spread hatred and incite people for creating conflict on caste lines by organising unlawful gatherings in times of Covid-19 pandemic," said the officer. He added that the police department was in possession of proof and the audio and video clips suggesting that some of these groups even offered Rs 50 lakh to the victim's family to speak against the state government.
The officer confirmed that police had lodged 19 FIRs regarding the matter and it will be too early to reveal names or more details without proper investigations.
A website -- justiceforhathrasvictim.carrd.co -- which had information on how to protest safely by avoiding the police, has been linked to the conspiracy. The site has now been taken down and is currently unavailable. It also listed dos and don’ts on how to stay safe during riots and in situations when police fire tear gas.
The ADG further said that police teams were checking the veracity of those messages and the website. “Action will be taken against if anything comes up in our investigation," he added.
Police claimed that six FIRs in connection with Hathras cases were lodged in Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Prayagaraj, Mathura, Shamli, and Saharanpur for unlawful protest, breaching Section 144 of CrPC and inciting hatred on social media.
In one of the FIRs lodged at Chandpa Police station of Hathras, unidentified groups were booked under IPC sections pertaining to sedition, inciting caste violence, promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, imputations, and assertions prejudicial to national integration, forgery, forgery for purpose of cheating, forgery for purpose of harming reputation, along with other sections of IPC and IT Act were also invoked against 400-500 unidentified people.
Even Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Samajwadi Party, and RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal) workers, who created a ruckus at Boolgarhi village on Sunday, were mentioned in different FIRs lodged in Hathras.
In Lucknow, six FIRs were lodged against people who posted fake messages or morphed images of CM Yogi Adityanath on social media platforms in connection with the Hathras incident to incite caste violence.