Communal violence that erupted after the death of a young boy in Kasganj on the Republic Day continued on Sunday despite curfew in the area as anti-social element set a shop ablaze in the morning.
According to reports, Chandan Gupta, 22, had died in clashes that broke out on Friday during a “Tiranga bike rally” by activists of the RSS-backed students’ group, ABVP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Two others were iinjured.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been set up and 49 people have been arrested by Uttar Pradesh police in wake of the latest communal clash in Kasganj.
The state government has also snapped Internet services in the district till 10 pm tonight.
Though the curfew-bound town remained tense, the situation was largely in control.
Minutes after the last rites of the deceased Chandan Gupta were completed on Saturday morning, miscreants damaged at least three shops and torched a few other commercial establishments on the second day of violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj city, police said.
A bus was also set on fire in the latest flare-up in the city, where a curfew was imposed on Saturday after the clashes.
A state government spokesperson said prohibitory orders still remain in effect in the city in western Uttar Pradesh, but did not specify whether the curfew had been lifted.
A strong posse of RAF and PAC personnel is on the vigil in the district, whose borders have been sealed to stop elements detrimental to peace from sneaking into the city.
VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi tried to attend the funeral of the victim, but she was stopped before she could enter the town.
Out of 49 people who were arrested, 10 have been booked on charges of murder and rioting. The remaining 39 were arrested on charges of disrupting law and order and burning buses and shops, reports said.
Earlier in a tweet, the UP police said that they have arrested at least nine people in connection with the violence.
“Anti-social elements today tried to set on fire a small shop on the city’s outskirts… Some of the anti-social elements have been taken into custody, while others were chased away,” Additional DG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.
“Our main job at this point of time is to ensure that along with normal law and order situation, brotherhood among communities also remain intact,” Kumar said.
He added the police was trying to make people “understand communal bonhomie”. “The situation is under control, and will remain so. Sufficient police personnel have been deployed.”
Superintendent of Police, Kasganj, Sunil Kumar Singh, said: “Anti-social elements had set two shoe shops afire in Ghantghar market, and fire brigade was pressed into action.
“Apart from this one utensil shop was set afire by anti- social elements. A bus was also damaged by anti-social element, who set it afire. Fire brigade was called to douse the flames.”
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya described the violence as unfortunate, and said the people behind it would not go unpunished.
The state police reportedly said a complaint has been registered at the Kasganj police station and a special team has been formed to arrest others involved in the violence.