The Incident that took place in in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh is nothing short of shocking, despicable and alarming. Nobody should be killed for displaying love for their country in a peaceful manner. Despite all the negativity, there is big positive that came out of this incident. Yogi Adityanath demonstrated excellent governance skills by preventing this incident from becoming a full-fledged-out-of-control riot like the Muzaffarnagar riots that took place under the Akhilesh government.
To compare the two incidents, I’ll first highlight Yogi Adityanath Government’s response to the Kasganj incident and then follow it up with Akhilesh Yadav’s response to the Muzaffarnagar riots.
As previously discussed in an article in tfipost.com, on the 26th of January 2018, while the whole nation was celebrating the 69th anniversary of Indian Republic, the Kasganj town of UP witnessed an attack on a group of patriots carrying out a bike rally called Tiranga Yatra. When the rally reached a a locality called Baddu Nagar. Altercations led to scuffles and soon it snowballed into a riot like situation. When the rally tried to take a detour, some members of the a ‘specific’ community allegdly started pelting stones forcing the rally to abandon their bikes and flee. Their bikes were eventually set on fire. Even this was not enough for them, some miscreants vandalized other vehicles and started shooting in the direction of the fleeing rally members. In this commotion, 16-year old Chandan Gupta received a bullet on his chest and died. Two other persons named Prince and Naushad received injuries too.
So, what did the Yogi Adityanath government do to ensure that peace was restored in Kasganj?
As soon as the government was notified of the rising situation, companies of RAF, PAC along with regular police forces were deployed to the area to maintain law and order. These security groups started patrolling the streets immediately and enforced section 144 of the IPC with the help of Drones. The tense situation also prompted authorities to shut school and colleges in the area as a precautionary measure. The local administration suspended all Internet services from 5 pm on 27th January to 10 pm on 28th January to stop any rumors from spreading.
#Kasganjclashes: All internet services suspended from 5 pm on 27th January to 10 pm on 28th January: RP Singh, Kasganj District Magistrate
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 27, 2018
This effectively shut off any chances of scuffles further escalating to full-fledged riots. With the situation under control and no chance of further escalation of violence, Yogi Adityanath who was closely monitoring the situation started the process to investigate and allow the town to return to normalcy.
Yogi Adityanath personally called the family of Chandan Gupta, persuaded them to give up their protest and asked them to perform the last rites and cremation of Chandan Gupta. Local MP Rajveer Singh also met the bereaved family. The family was given a compensation of Rs. 20 lakhs and an assurance that the culprits would soon be behind the bars, a promise which was to soon turn into a fullfilled one. Subsequently the police started the investigation by reviewing all evidences such as videos shots by bystanders, CCTV footages, interviewing witnesses, examining shell casings from guns and other forensic evidence. Initially, 150 people were detained in connection with clashes. This led to house-to-house searches which resulted in explosives being found.
The state police chief promised that National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against these culprits. The police investigations led to the nabbing of one Salim Khan on the 30th of January. Salim was the person responsible for allegedly killing Chandan Gupta. According to IG Sanjeev Gupta “Salim has admitted that he had opened fire at Chandan Gupta.” The two remaining brothers, Naseem and Waseem are still at large, but it is only a matter of time before they’ll be nabbed and suitably punished too as the state police is actively pursuing them.
So we see how Yogi Adityanath approached the Kasganj incident. He first contained the situation, mollified the family and then went on the offensive, thereby bringing the violence to a near halt, fear in the hearts of the offenders and relief to the grief-stricken family.
Now let’s wind our clocks back in time and revisit the Muzzaffarnagar riots of 2013.
The weirdest thing about the Muzzaffarnagar riots is that, to this day, nobody is a 100% sure about the real reason that triggered the riots. One version says that a Hindu Jat girl was eve-teased and her brothers were killed in retaliation for accusing people of a certain community who teased their sister. Others say that it was a simple traffic accident which snowballed into a full-blown communal riot. But, it was certainly some minor tussle that led to a widespread carnage, that engulfed the entire district of Muzzaffarnagar in its riotous flames.
The first incident happened on August 27th, 2013, the Akhilesh government was very slow to react and sluggish in their response as additional forces were called nearly a week later. By that time armed-mobs had been mobilized and widespread killings had already begun. Vandalism and arson became the order of the day. The entire district came to a screeching halt, despite any government directives. In 3 days, the situation was fully out of control. The riots continued for 3 more days even after the army was summoned, speaks volumes about the number of people who must have been partaking in this mad bloodfest.
Eventually, the police made 10,000 to 12,000 preventive arrests, seized 2,000 arms, and filed seven cases under the National Security Act. However, it was too late. The death would have been a lot lower, had the government stepped in earlier. The Justice Vishnu Sahai commission, which made an enquiry into the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, also blamed the government and senior police and administrative officials for errors which led of the escalation of the violence. The Muzaffarnagar riots became a copybook case of a state government’s negligence and general apathy.
When we compare Kasganj and Muzzaffarnagar, the difference between CM Akhilesh and CM Yogi Adityanath becomes very clear. In one situation the government was very sluggish in reacting to a seemingly similar situation which the other government had no inhibitions about.