Peace meet soothes Kasganj's nerves

January 28, 2018 09:37 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 08:09 am IST - Meerut

 Security forces on vigil in Kasganj city in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

Security forces on vigil in Kasganj city in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

Despite fresh violence being reported from the curfew-bound Kasganj on Sunday morning, normalcy gradually returned to the town. One person died and two were injured in a clash on January 26. A peace meeting was organised in the municipal hall and attended by people of all sections. The administration tried to bring the situation under control by Sunday afternoon.

Kasganj came back to normalcy, although slowly, after traders, political leaders and members of two communities involved in the clash of January 26 came together for a meeting at the town municipal hall.

Early on Sunday morning, despite heavy police deployment, rioters managed to torch three shops, two buses and one car. The Fire Brigade extinguished the fire later. Shops and markets opened after the meeting.

One person, Chandan Gupta, was killed, and two persons were injured in the clash.

The meeting, headed by the Aligarh Divisional Comissioner Subhash Chandra Sharma, was attended by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP)-Agra Zone Ajay Anand, local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Devender Singh Rajput, BJP Etah district president Purendar Singh Solanki, former chairman of Kasganj Nagarpalika Chaudhary Nurul Hasan and former Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Hasratullah Sherwani, among others. All the civil society representatives spoke about bringing peace to the town.

Appeal to traders

Talking to The Hindu on phone, Mr. Solanki said, “The violence and the clash was an unfortunate incident. All of us need to work for peace in the area.” He assured at the meeting that he would ask traders in “mixed areas” to talk to their neighbours and open their shops for restoration of daily routine trade.

“This incident of violence was an aberration. All of us have been living in peace and harmony from before the time we were born. There were attempts to divide us but we have to make sure that the ideology of hatred does not win,” said Mr. Sherwani.

Many of the speakers said that the violence was a consequence of a policing failure.

They said the police had not been aware of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s rally and police personnel reached the location of the clash late. They also said the local intelligence unit had no clue about the rally.

Aligarh Commissioner S.C. Sharma told media that police will make every effort to bring peace.

“We have requested local residents to be vigilant and ensure that no confrontation of any kind happens between kids and any groups that could possibly vitiate the atmosphere. We have sent a recommendation to the Chief Minister’s office for financial help to Chandan Gupta’s family,” Mr. Sharma said.

Drones deployed

For better coordination, the police divided the town into ten zones and a police team led by a senior officer is carrying out intensive searches for rioters in each of the zones. Drones are also being used by the police for vigilance. The police have arrested one youth with a pistol and petrol bombs.

Later, the house of one of the rioting accused was raided and country-made bombs and a pistol were recovered.

Internet services were suspended and the police did not allow newspapers to be distributed on Sunday.

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