Ruckus in Uttar Pradesh Assembly over Kasganj violence; Opposition stages walkout

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday witnessed repeated adjournments and walkout by the Opposition demanding a probe into the Kasganj communal flare-up by a sitting high court judge.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chowdhury claimed that the violence in the western Uttar Pradesh town was a "pre-planned conspiracy".

The demand was supported by Congress and BSP members.

"Kasganj is still burning. The violence was a pre-planned conspiracy. Muslims were deliberately attacked and police remained mute spectator," Chowdhury, a Samajwadi Party MLA, said.

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Assembly in Lucknow. PTI

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Assembly in Lucknow. PTI

Armed with copies of CCTV footages and other videos of the incident in his hand, Chowdhury said, "I am talking with proof that shops were burnt and a particular community was targeted and police were involved in it. The VHP, Bajrang Dal and similar organisations deliberately attacked Muslims due to which violence erupted and one person died in the firing."

He also demanded Rs 50 lakh compensation to the victim's family and said that those affected in the violence should be compensated by the government without any discrimination.

Chandan Gupta died of gunshot wounds after he was shot at during a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate Republic Day.

His killing led to communal violence in the western Uttar Pradesh town. At least three shops, two buses and a car were torched.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna refuted Chowdhury's charges and said the unfortunate incident that took place on 26 January in Kasganj was due to the blocking of the way of a 'Tiranga Yatra' (tricolour march).

"The yatra was being taken out as per the tradition of 25 years on the traditional route. The way of the yatra was blocked by some persons by putting chairs... When those taking out the yatra insisted on following the same route, an argument took place leading to clashes in which Abhishek alias Chandan Gupta died.

"Had they been given way for the yatra, the incident would not have happened. There was no communal tension earlier. It was a government order that no new tradition is started but old practices are permitted," he said.

"It's wrong to say police encouraged... FIR was lodged against the accused. The Opposition is trying to vitiate the atmosphere. We ensured that there is no reaction to this incident. Such incident is not a good thing for government. We ensured strict action and ensured no undue harassment to anyone," Khanna said.

He said that prohibitory orders have been enforced in Kasganj till 10 March and alleged that the "Samajwadi Party did not want peace in the state".

This led to sharp reaction from the Samajwadi Party members, who rushed into the well of the House and sat there leading to disruption, prompting Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to adjourn the House for 10 minutes initially and later extend it.

Later, when the House again met, Khanna assured that the entire matter was being probed by an SIT and no guilty would be spared.

However, not happy with the response, the entire Opposition including the SP, BSP and the Congress staged a walkout.

Updated Date: Feb 09, 2018 20:53 PM

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