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Kasganj: Amidst Security for Chandan’s Kin, One More Arrested

Chandan Gupta died of gunshot wounds in clashes during the ‘Tiranga’ Yatra taken out by VHP and ABVP.

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One more person has been arrested in the Kasganj violence. A man named Rahat Qureshi, resident of Kasganj's Smilpur Road, has been arrested. Earlier, the prime accused in the killing, Saleem, was arrested and is in jail. His two brothers, Naseem and Waseem, also accused, are still at large. Saleem operates a cloth house in Kasganj.

Family members of Chandan Gupta, who was killed in communal violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj last week, were provided security after his father alleged that he received threats from some people, police said on Friday 2 February.

We have taken cognisance, and a police officer from Kasganj has been in contact with the father of Kasganj violence victim Chandan Gupta. If he registers a complaint, investigation will be done and strict action will be taken against those responsible. 
VS Meena, IG, Public Grievance
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On 1 February, Gupta had alleged that he and his family were under threat.

Our life is under threat. Also, my daughter is under threat. I ask the judiciary, Yogi Adityanath to give us licensed arms so that we can secure our safety. We also ask for security cover like security guards till we are under threat.
Sushil Gupta, father of Chandan Gupta to ANI

The father’s allegations had come just a day after the main accused in the murder of Chandan Gupta was arrested on 31 January.

Sushil Gupta had further narrated an incident where he was allegedly approached by some people.

I was sitting outside. Some people came on the bike in the morning. They stopped the bike for a second and said that the accused are going to jail, but others are still there, (so) don’t take enmity with us, we will see you.
Sushil Gupta, father of Chandan Gupta to ANI
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On 31 January, IG, Aligarh Range, Sanjeev Gupta told PTI, “Saleem, the main accused, has been nabbed.”

Chandan Gupta died of gunshot wounds in communal clashes on 26 January when the ABVP and VHP took out a motorcycle rally called Tiranga Yatra to celebrate Republic Day.

The UP Police said that the bullets were fired from Saleem’s balcony or the roof of his house, NDTV reported.

As per the NDTV report, Saleem, who has been named in an FIR, among many others, is accused of firing the shot that killed Chandan Gupta on 26 January. He reportedly runs a cloth store in Kasganj.

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At least three shops, two buses and a car were torched in the clashes that followed afterwards. Over 118 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

The clashes led to tension in the Uttar Pradesh town for a few days, with heavy deployment of security forces, but no fresh has been reported of lately.

Kasganj Residents: Saleem Is a Respectable Man

Saleem Javed, as TOI reports his full name as, was one of many people named by Chandan Gupta’s father, Sushil Gupta, in his FIR. Sushil Gupta also named Saleem’s two brothers, Waseem and Naseem in the FIR, among a number of other people, police told TOI.

Police claimed they recovered a double barrel shotgun and a .315 calibre country-made pistol from Saleem’s home, TOI reported. Local traders and businessmen, however, expressed "surprise" at the developments.

Saleem is a respectable businessman. He could often be seen sitting and chatting with local residents outside his shop. I do not know if he fired the shot in self-defence, or whether he fired a shot at all.
Suresh Chandar Varshney, President, Vyapar Mandal Sangh, Kasganj

Police: Saleem Has No past Criminal Record

Agra Police reasserted to TOI that neither Saleem, nor his two brothers Waseem and Naseem, have a past criminal record.

We have arrested Saleem based on the FIR filed by Chandan Gupta’s father, Sushil. In the FIR, he also named Saleem’s two younger brothers, Waseem and Naseem. Several other men have also been named in the FIR. None of the three brothers have a criminal record. The shot that killed Gupta was probably taken from a height, as the post mortem report suggests the bullet penetrated Chandan’s body from a high trajectory.
Ajay Anand, ADGP, Agra
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Javed’s neighbours told TOI that Saleem’s brother Wasim, the District Executive Secretary of the UP Industrial Representative Committee, who was also named in the FIR, wasn’t present in Kasganj during the violence, and was out on a religious tour for over 40 days.

FIR Based on Unverified Statements?

Sushil Gupta’s father, who filed the FIR had initially said that he witnessed the events leading to his son’s death, the TOI report added. “Over 20 men, including Saleem stopped the people participating in the tiranga yatra, snatched their flag and threw it on the ground, asking them to shout Pakistan Zindabad. When my son protested, the attackers pelted them with stones. Saleem aimed and fired at Chandan, injuring him. He was later declared dead at the hospital.”

However, on 31 January, he told TOI that he wasn’t actually present, but was told what happened later.

After my son was declared dead at the district hospital, I was told by a group of youths participating in the tiranga yatra that Saleem, Wasim, Naseem and 20 other Muslim men fired shots and killed my son.
Sushil Gupta, victim Chandan Gupta’s father
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Stray incidents of violence were reported from Kasganj as late as 30 January, but the situation was by and large peaceful on 31 January, PTI reported.

In a related development, a young man rumoured to have been killed in the communal clashes on 26 January, surfaced on 30 January and trashed reports of his death.

The 24-year-old Rahul Upadhyaya, said his death was falsely reported and after he was informed of this by a friend, he came forward to announce that he is fine.

Police said normalcy was slowly returning to the violence-hit town where security personnel have intensified patrolling in sensitive areas.

UP Governor: Kasganj Violence a Blot on the State

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on 30 January that his government was committed to providing security to each and every citizen.

"Anarchy has no place in the state," he said, and promised strict action against the perpetrators of violence, asserting the guilty would not be allowed to go unpunished.

The UP government has come under fire over the clashes with Governor Ram Naik terming the Kasganj violence a "blot" on the state.

Opposition parties have also attacked the state government over the clashes.

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The Uttar Pradesh government had also sent a report to the Centre giving details of the communal violence, an official had told PTI.

The state government's report contained details about the arrests made by the UP Police and circumstances leading to the death of the lone victim Chandan Gupta.

The government had conveyed to the Union home ministry that the police are investigating the case and all facts are being ascertained to know if the violence was pre-planned.

(With inputs from PTI & TOI)

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Topics:  VHP   Yogi Adityanath   UP Police 

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