THE SACK­ING OF KAS­GANJ

India Today - - UPFRONT - MANEESH AG­NI­HOTRI/IN­DIA TO­DAY

On Repub­lic Day, com­mu­nal ri­ot­ing broke out in a part of Kas­ganj, Ut­tar Pradesh, sparked, lo­cals al­lege, by men on mo­tor­cy­cles, who dis­rupted their small flag-hoist­ing cer­e­mony. It was a Mus­lim neigh­bour­hood, and the men were as­so­ci­ated with Hin­dutva groups. They de­manded that their noisy pro­ces­sion be let through, and when the lo­cals ob­jected, they were al­legedly in­sulted and told to go to Pak­istan. In the spread­ing fra­cas, a young man, Chan­dan Gupta, was shot and killed a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres from where the trou­ble first be­gan. Kas­ganj is now a sym­bol of the com­mu­nal ten­sions that crit­ics say are a trope of the new In­dia. In the days after the vi­o­lence, a mob ran­sacked the house of the ac­cused men, sons of a lo­cal busi­ness­man. And shops, as can be seen from the pho­to­graph, were looted, re­duced to rub­ble, even burned down. A com­mu­nity has been dev­as­tated.

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