Muzaffarnagar: At least 15 more people were killed in spiralling violence in the western Uttar Pradesh district on Sunday, taking the toll to 26. The army staged flag marches and thousands of anti-riot police personnel were deployed to restore law and order here.
It is being alleged that the communal unrest is not a spontaneous reaction to some flare up, but a result of “well organized campaign to create hatred between two religious communities of the country”.
According to police officials, one of the inception points for the violence is a “fake video” posted on YouTube and other social networks that wrongly claims to show two men being lynched by a mob in the state.
Home Secretary Kamal Saxena told a press conference on Sunday that the “fake video” posted online was “at least two years old and appears not to have been filmed in Uttar Pradesh”.
The video entitled ‘killing of Hindu youths by Muslim mob while they were protecting the honor of their sister’ went viral on internet and also started circulating through mobile phones.
A media report said on Sunday, “The video is originally from Pakistan of infamous 2010 killing of two brothers in Sialkot Punjab province by lynching mob who misidentified them as dacoits.”
The video clip made situation bad to worse.
Shockingly, a BJP MLA from Meerut’s Sardhana constituency reportedly shared the video on his Facebookprofile asking people “to see what is going on in Muzaffarnagar”.
“BJP MLA Thakur Sangeet Singh Som shared the video on his Facebook profile asking people to see what is going on in Muzaffarnagar,” the media report alleged.
Sensing the trouble, the police immediately tried to block the video clips from the internet and filed FIR against the BJP legislature and other 229 unidentified persons for sharing the video.
They have been booked under Sections 420 (forgery), 153-A (promoting enmity on religious grounds) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act at the Kotwali police station in Muzaffarnagar.
A senior police officer, Arun Kumar, said that the video has been blocked and that an investigation is trying to locate the person who uploaded it.The situation in Muzaffarnagar started deteriorating since August 27, when two youths of the Jat community were beaten to death in Kawaal village, under Jaansath tehsil of Muzaffarnagar. One youth from the minority community was also killed in the clash. The clash occurred over the alleged incident of eve teasing.
To protest the incident, the Jat community organized a ‘panchayat’ at Jaansath town on August 31. The panchayat demanded action against the culprits responsible for the murder of the two Jat youths.
The Khap panchayat then announced to organize a ‘mahapanchayat’ on September 7 at Nagla Mandaur if their demands were not met. On September 5, the BJP had also given a call for Muzaffarnagar bandh.
On Saturday, those going to participate in the ‘Bahu Beti Samaan Bachaoi Mahapanchyat’ were allegedly attacked and fired upon at Basee village.
The situation in Muzaffarnagar worsened following incidents of firing, stone pelting and violence in which IBN7 journalist Rajesh Verma and a part-time photographer of the state police, Israr, were killed.