LUCKNOW: Violence erupted in western Uttar Pradesh on Saturday when groups of Hindus and Muslims went on a rampage in the state’s Kasganj town on Saturday after five shops were torched by a mob while they were returning from the cremation of an individual who died in firing between the two groups on Friday.
The anti-Muslim riot erupted over an unauthorised rally to mark India’s Republic Day on January 26.
Several properties have been vandalised even as police reached the spot to control the situation, according to an Indian news outlet.
Uttar Pradesh Police said on Twitter that at least nine persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. “A complaint has been filed at the Kasganj Police Station and nine involved persons have been arrested so far. A special team has also been constituted and we are trying to arrest others involved as well.”
On Friday, police said, “Chandan Gupta (22) died after being hit on the chest by a bullet and Noushad was admitted to a hospital in neighbouring Aligarh district after being shot in the leg. Hindus and Muslims hurled stones at each other in Kasganj town before shots were fired.”
Ripudaman Singh, Station House Officer, Kasganj, said the clash occurred after Muslim residents of Badu Nagar objected to slogans raised by Hindu motorcycle-borne participants of the “Tiranga Yatra”, which had started from the Bilram Gate area. According to police, another trigger for the clash was an altercation in which a member of one religious group allegedly slapped a youth of the other.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, following the clash, had issued an appeal through his official Twitter account for “peace and harmony” and had directed the administration to “take strict action against miscreants”.