A whistleblower from Kasganj who went unheard!

UP CM, Union Home Minister and UP Police were alerted about a possible communal violence five days in advance, claims office bearer of Sankalp Foundation

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Abhishek Srivastava

A crucial piece of digital evidence from Kasganj shows that the Union Home Minister, the Chief Minister of UP and UP Police were alerted about the possible communal flare-up on this Republic Day five days in advance. This has raised questions about the role of government and police administration in recent riots that has claimed the life of a youngster named Abhishek alias Chandan Gupta.

An old friend and senior of the deceased has provided this evidence on the condition of anonymity as he feels threatened of the repurcussions from his community as well as the administration. The youth is an office holder of the NGO Sankalp Foundation of which Gupta was an active member. In a private conversation on Monday somewhere in Kasganj, this reporter was briefed about repeated twitter alerts in which he had tagged the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Twitter handle of UP Police and messaged to District SP Facebook account.

NH Image
NH Image
A screen-shot of the tweets

The first tweet reportedly posted five days back from 26th January with a facebook link and tagging @myogiadityanath and @Uppolice says, "Pls look into the matter. This can turn into huge Hindu Muslim here". The second tweet with the Facebook comments link tags @Uppolice and @uppol and says. "Please go through the comments". The third tweet tagging @rajnathsingh and @Uppolice says, "Pls look into the matter Sir. This can be hindu muslim here".

On January 26th at 2.22 pm i.e. a few hours after the riots begun, this person posted a long comment on his Facebook page that describes him as a "Politician" having a fan following of around 8000. The post written in Hindi says:

"I had axpressed my apprehension over the communal riots in Kasganj well in advance. I had reported this by tweeting to honorable CM, Union Home Minister, UP Police and IPS officer of this district and urged them to look into it. None took my alert seriously that resulted in the riots for which the administration is solely responsible". This Facebook post is still there on his page with screenshots of his tweets to UP Police, UP CM and Rajnath Singh. It is interesting to note that the post has been shared 51 times mainly by the youth of Kasganj and people are well aware of this alert not only in the city but also those who have left Kasganj years back and live in Delhi.

NH Image
NH Image
Screen-shot of the post saying that this person had already alerted the administration about the impending tension but no action was taken

It was no coincidence that when the District Magistrate on Monday arrived at deceased Gupta's home in Shivalay gali located in the midst of main market to handover a 20 lakh rupees compensation to his father, he had to face huge opposition from the trader community. The scene turned into a political protest when the locals started raising slogan "Yogi murdabad!". It would have turned into a clash but RAF teams were promptly called in and lined up in the main market. The trader community is enraged at the death of a young boy because people are well aware of the alert issued to district administration and UP government by Chandan's friend and they are directly blaming the administration for his death.

The Twitter alert that was reportedly sent five days in advance has a proper background. The youth, who may be called a citizen whistle-blower, told about the Facebook war that was going on for two weeks between two of his friends belonging to different communities. One Hindu boy who was specially raged over the loudspeakers being uninstalled from temples on government orders but left untouched in mosques, had written a Facebook post. The boy from other community reacted. Then in a comment thread running over 1000 comments, youths of both communities challenged each other to dare enter in their respective localities. This challenge was accepted by the post writer who was from Hindu community.

The whistle-blower person was disturbed seeing this conversation. He called upon both the parties to stay apart and not create a scene. He claims, "At first I was assured that these boys would not do anything wrong or communal but then as a responsible citizen I thought of at least alerting the administration in case something happens". He says that despite being the senior office-bearer of Sankalp, he was informed on 25th night that the boys had planned to take out a Tiranga rally. "I greeted them with suspicion and apologised for not joining them as I had to rush to my construction site early in the morning at 3.30".

Whatever has come out of Kasganj story till date has not highlighted this backgrounder that resulted in riots. This reporter has all the details and evidences to prove that the Tiranga rally of NGO Sankalp and the flag hoisting by the Muslim youth of Baddu Nagar at trisection (that has been suggested in the media elsewhere as Veer Abdul Hamid tiraha but could not be confirmed about its genesis as no one knew this name), both reportedly for the first time in the history of Kasganj, were basically a culmination of the Facebook war among local youth. What occurred on January 26th was a result of political aspirations, heroism and a feeling of cinematic sort of revenge in the youth of both the communities. Both the communities were well-prepared in advance- to enter into the other's locality and the other community was prepared to stop them on the spot and not let them pass through.

Our whistle-blower was well aware of the preparations and he did what a responsible citizen could have done in those circumstances. It seems the much-celebrated Digital India and e-governance failed this desperate youth by not responding to his repeated tweets and tags. What happened afterwards is now history.

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Published: 30 Jan 2018, 5:13 PM