Lucknow : One person was killed and another critically injured as two communities clashed on Republic Day in Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh on Friday, police said.
The incident took place when a “Tiranga Yatra” in the form of a bike rally was taken out by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and some other Hindu organisations in the town. As they were passing through the Hulka locality — a Muslim majority area — some youths pelted stones on the bikers.
After that, it became a free for all and the bikers also retaliated with stones. Soon there was firing from the locality in which two persons received gun shot wounds and one succumbed in the hospital later.
An irate mob attacked vehicles on the highway, targeted public property and torched some other vehicles. Over half-a-dozen persons, including some policemen, have also been injured in the clashes.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed in the violence-hit areas and police patrolling has been increased.
Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar informed that the situation was under control but tense. The district authorities were keeping a close watch on the situation, he added.
Some reports suggest that the situation took a turn for the worse when in response to the sloganeering of “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, somebody from the locality shouted “Pakistan Zindabad”. This apparently incensed the ABVP workers and they also attacked the youth of that community.
The injured person who later succumbed to bullet injuries has been identified as Sushil Gupta, a resident of Shivalaya, Railway Road in the town.
Two others who sustained serious injuries — Naushad and Prince — have been referred to Aligarh where the condition of the latter is stated to be very critical.
Although no curfew has been declared in the town, Home Department officials said prohibitory orders were in force, and keeping in view the “fluid and tense situation”, people have been advised to stay indoors.
Local BJP leaders, MP Rajveer Singh and other politicians are also counselling the people to calm down and are trying to normalise the situation, an official said.