A new video has emerged of the violence that erupted in Kasganj, where communal clashes broke out on Republic Day.
As reported by The Times of India, the video shows a group of ABVP and VHP youth, the ones who took out the ‘Tiranga Yatra’, marching towards a Muslim-dominated area. The video is taken from a roof and gunshots can also be heard in the video.
A police source told The Times of India that “there were over 50 youths and one of them had the Indian flag. At least two had revolvers and others were carrying clubs, sticks, while the rest were hurling stones towards the Muslim-populated area. Several shots were fired in the air by youths who were in the ‘tiranga yatra’. A special investigation team is now looking into the 14-second clip to identify the men seen in it.”
In an FIR filed by SHO Ripudaman Singh of City Kotwali, it has been stated that “the youths (from the tiranga yatra) were challenging men from the other community after the latter stopped them from passing through their colony. “When police intervened to pacify them, they didn’t listen. Meanwhile, bullet shots were heard from the alleyway, after which the (yatra) group started pelting stones on people from the other community and both groups exchanged fire and even targeted policemen.”
Response of BJP leaders
Two senior BJP leaders including Union Minister Niranjan Jyoti blamed anti-national elements and pro-Pakistan people for the violence that erupted in Kasganj.
JP leader Vinay Katiyar said Hindus and Muslims had amicably lived in Kasganj. “But some pro-Pakistan people have come who are not accepting National flag. They only accept Pakistan flag and raise Pakistan zindabad slogans,” he said.
Violence erupted in Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh where two groups pelted stones at each other on Friday, Republic Day, during a “Tiranga Bike Rally” by activists of the RSS-backed students’ group ABVP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Reports suggest that Chandan was a participant in the rally.
A mobile phone video accessed by NDTV shows hundreds of young men, many holding saffron flags, standing at one of the streets. Reports suggest that locals were celebrating Republic Day and asked the members of the Tiranga Yatra to wait till the celebrations were over or join them.
In the video, the members of the rally can be heard saying that they won’t change the route. They were screaming slogans and said that everyone will have to chant “Vande Mataram” if they wish to live in India. The violence started soon after. Stone pelting followed and gunshots were fired.