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Kanpur | HENB | Oct 24, 2015:: Curfew was imposed and four people were arrested in Kannauj district on Friday, a day after a Hindu youth died and another received bullet injuries following Hindus and Muslims clash during a Durga puja Visarjan (immersion) procession. The people arrested for the violence include the main accused Akram Khan. Curfew was imposed after growing fresh tension in the town here on Friday following the death rumour of the other Hindu youth who was injured in a clash during the Durga Puja Visarjan Sobhayatra (procession).
From the statement of SP of Kannauj, Kalanidhi Naithani, it is derived that the prohibitory orders were imposed following tension here over Thursday’s clash at the Lakhan Tiraha (tri-section) after some Muslim people allegedly opened fire on Durga Visarjan procession and Hindus hurled brickbats as retaliation.
According to the police, the trouble started on Thursday afternoon when a Muslim youth from Choori Wali Gali had an argument with some men who were a part of Durga Visarjan procession and had thrown colour on him. But, the participants in the immersion procession told that some Muslim youths came all on a sudden and tried to mix-up in the procession only to molest the girls and women participating in Visarjan procession. The situation turned ugly when more Muslims of the locality joined the perpetrators and spoke in their support. “In the meantime, someone from a multi-storey building allegedly opened fire at the procession near Lakhan ‘tiraha’ of the city,” the SP said.
A police officer said two Hindu youths, Mahesh Kushwaha (30) and Apoorva Gupta (26), who were standing nearby, suffered bullet injuries in the firing. “Kushwaha died on way to hospital, while Gupta is undergoing treatment,” he said.
Another police officer said the people in the procession retaliated by throwing stones. “Soon it became a free-for-all and violence erupted in other city areas,” he said. Mobs damaged some police and public vehicles and tried to set fire to shops in some places. Several policemen were said to be injured in the clash. Several people under now police scanner who caused the communal violence in the city of Kannauj, world famous for its ittra, tobacco, perfume and rose water industries.
With this news of attack upon Durgapuja immersion near Lakhan Tiraha, other Durga Puja processions in the city were stranded in various places on the way with a protest and even the ongoing Ramlila and Aarti of Baba Gouri Shankar Temple were suspended.
The arrests were made on Friday. “We have arrested the main accused, Akram, who allegedly opened fire at the Durga idol procession which claimed a life and injured another person,” IG (Zone) Ashutosh Pandey said. “Besides, the police have also arrested former city president of BJP Vikram Tripathi and recovered a country-made firearm from his possession. Two others, identified as Ram Niwas and Amit Kumar, have also been arrested and the police have recovered a country-made pistol from one of them.”
The police has also named Subrat Pathak in FIR, who is a member of BJP working committee of Kannauj Nagarpalika Mandal.
BJP vehemently protested the arrest of its leader and cadres under a maligned motive of Dimple Yadav, the MP of Kannauj and the wife of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. A party spokesman of BJP said, ‘the Police and SP are trying to hide the Muslim culprits and want to blame the Hindus who were attacked in Durga Visarjan procession’.
Bullet injured Apoorva Gupta’s condition was said to be stable on Friday.
Police is patrolling the localities and appeals are being made for maintaining peace and harmony, the SP said, adding that the body of the deceased was handed over to his family following a post-mortem and the last rites were performed Friday morning.
District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said that barring stray incidents, there was total peace in the town. The markets, however, remained closed on Saturday. Border Security Forces and Provincial Armed Constabulary staged the flag march to instill confidence among the people.
Read this news in Hindi: कन्नौज में सांप्रदायिक हिंसा, एक की मौत
__with inputs from PTI and Agencies. Pics taken from different sources could not be authenticated.