In a new revelation, film executive Barun Kashyap, who in August had made allegations of harassment for carrying a leather bag, has confessed that he had spun a story to disrupt communal harmony in Mumbai fuelled by his 'hatred for Hindus'.
According to a report by the Mumbai Mirror, Kashyap gave a confessional statement in police custody where he said, "I accept that I lied about the entire incident. No such incident ever took place. My Facebook post was a lie. I lied because have hatred towards Hindus."
Police claim that Kashyap intended to play the victim to 'gau rakshaks' (cow vigilantes) to spark outrage in public.
On 19 August, Kashyap had filed a complaint at Amboli police station of an alleged harassment for carrying a leather bag by an autorickshaw driver and two unidentified men believed to be gau rakshaks. He had claimed that the auto driver insisted that he was carrying a cow-leather bag despite clarifications by Kashyap that he was carrying camel-hide. According to Kashyap's version, the driver stopped driving and called on a few men to threaten him.
The police investigated the incident and checked CCTV footage of the day Kashyap made his claims about. They found irregularities in Kashyap's version as the footage proved that the auto could not have taken a detour as Kashyap claimed. The time-stamp on the videos and the statements of the witnesses made police's case stronger against Kashyap.
The 24-year-old ad professional was arrested on 4 October by a policeman named Daya Nayak from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Preeti Sharma Menon’s car in Chembur along with her driver. He was then sent to police custody till 8 October by Andheri court.
Menon has been a vocal supporter of Kashyap and has been helping him seek legal counsel in the matter. Menon alleged that the police noted a wrong time in the report. "The police claim they have footage of start and end but all cameras en route were conveniently not working. They further claim, very conveniently, that Amboli cameras also stopped working 10 days ago," she said in the statement.
Menon also lashed out on reports alleging AAP’s hand in Kashyap faking the alleged harassment by gau rakshaks with a statement on Twitter, where she clarified that Kashyap is not an AAP member.
According to a previous report by Firstpost, Kashyap has on various occasions used social media to share his views against cow vigilantes.
According to the Mumbai Mirror report, Kashyap has been booked under section 153 A (promoting enmity between groups) and 182 B (for use of lawful power of a public servant to injure or annoy any person) of the Indian Penal Code. If the court convicts him, he can face upto five years in jail.