Section 144 had been in place in sectarian violence-affected Kasganj since January 25 through March 10, Uttar Pradesh’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna revealed during the Zero Hour during a discussion in the state assembly on February 9.
“I can confirm that Section 144 had been in place in Kasganj from Jan 25,” Khanna said during his reply to a question from Congress legislator Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was demanding that locals whose businesses and homes were damaged during the recent sectarian flare-up in Kasganj be compensated by the state authorities.
“We want the authorities to pay for the properties damaged during the violence in Kasganj,” Lallu, Congress MLA from Tamkuhi Raj constituency, said during the Zero Hour in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday.
According to Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, joining an unlawful assembly with deadly weapons can result in an imprisonment, or fine or both, of up to two years. There are allegations that the participants of tiranga rally, which witnessed the participation of Chandan Gupta and activists from RSS-allied outfits, were brandishing guns and swords.
A fact-finding report into the violence in Kasganj last week found that at least 27 business establishments, all belonging to members of the Muslim community, and two mosques were set on fire in the district, after an altercation between two groups over hoisting of the national flag ballooned into riots.
Lallu, along with the leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, who is the Samajwadi Party’s MLA from Ballia, also urged the state government to offer Chandan Gupta a compensation of ₹50 lakh, as opposed to ₹20 lakh offered by the Yogi Adityanath government.
“All the atrocities against Muslims should be investigated in an unbiased manner,” Chaudhary also said during the discussion.
Besides Gupta, the violence in Kasganj also resulted in the two members of the Muslim youth being seriously injured as a fallout to Gupta’s death.