Kasganj violence: UP police framed Muslims, protected Hindus, claims "independent" Indo-US-British report

Moments before the violence began in Kasganj. All pix from the report
By Our Representative
A report, jointly prepared by three Indian civil rights groups, two US-based groups and a London-based group, has described the probe into the January 26 Kasganj (Uttar Pradesh) violence a sham. The incident became controversial because, during the incident, in a town “which is 220 km east of New Delhi”, one man, Chandan Gupta was “shot amid firing, arson and vandalism.”
Chandan Gupta
The Indian organizations involved in preparing the 21-page report, full of illustrations and diagrams, are People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), and United Against Hate; US-based organizations are Alliance for Justice and Accountability, New York, and Indian American Muslim Council, Washington DC; and South Asia Solidarity Group in London-based.
The report
The report objects to the police view, which said “the incident occurred after a group of Muslims obstructed a group of Hindus taking out a motorcycle procession to mark India’s Republic Day”. Naming 28 Muslims, including the one who allegedly fired the fatal shot, all of whom were arrested over two weeks, the report says, the investigation into the violence “has been grossly compromised in a blatant attempt to protect the Hindus and frame the Muslims.”
According to the report, “The most understated -- rather, ignored -- part of the three-month investigation is the fact that the area’s Muslims had gathered that morning to celebrate the Republic Day with a flag-hoisting 400 metres from Bilram Gate crossing, at the Abdul Hameed Chowk, which is named after the Indian Army martyr who gave his life fighting in Kashmir in 1948.”
Quoting witnesses, the report claims, “The conflict began when the Hindus gate-crashed that programme, which the Muslims have held annually for years, with their motorcycles and began forcibly removing the chairs placed in the alley to pass through.”
The report contends, “Two Hindu witnesses, who were participants in the rally, endorsed this view, the report says. Thus, Saurabh Pal and Siddharth Valmiki, “told the police that when they found the Muslims had placed chairs on the road at Abdul Hameed Chowk”, hence were asked them to remove the chairs. “As the Muslims refused to do so, ‘we started chanting Vande Matram and Jai Shri Ram”.
Turmoil at Kasganj: A video footage
According to the report, “The CCTV footage of the Abdul Hameed Chowk incident has been available to the police. And yet, they have refused to include this footage as evidence in either of the two charge-sheets in the case.”  
The report says, since “the police and the Hindu versions are extensively covered in the FIRs and the charge-sheets”, it looked into “the version of the area’s Muslims, which has been rather underrepresented in the official narrative.” 
The three Muslims accused of shootout
Asserting that what the Muslims say was “straightforward”, the report says, since the motorcycle rally the on reaching Abdul Hameed Chowk was not given right of way, its participants “pelted stones and fired from handguns.”
“The Muslims say they did not fire shots. Chandan, they say, died of a bullet from one of the Hindus’ guns or, possibly, when the police fired at the crowd at Bilram Gate crossing”, the report says.
Claiming that none of the three accused of shooting at Chandan was in Kasganj on January 26, the report says, Waseem was in at Hathras City, 60 km away, Zahid alias Jagga, was away in Lucknow, 330 km away, and Asim Qureshi, was in Aligarh, 70 km away.
According to the report, “The CCTV footage from a police station in Lucknow … shows that Jagga had visited there at about 8.30 a.m. on January 26. In February a Muslim member of the National Minorities Commission, Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, wrote to Chief Minister Adityanath to request for a reexamination of charges against Jagga. He is yet to hear back from Adityanath.”

Comments