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Hathras: 19 FIRs for bid to trigger caste conflict, sedition booked

Last updated on: October 06, 2020 04:32 IST

Amid outrage over the alleged gang-rape and the death of a Dalit woman, Uttar Pradesh police have lodged at least 19 first information reports across the state on charges ranging from attempt to trigger caste conflict to sedition.


IMAGE: Janata Dal-Secular women workers along with other activists display placards and raise slogans during a protest demanding justice for Hathras incident victim, in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

As protests over the Yogi Adityanath government's handling of the case continued, an Aam Aadmi Party delegation to the victim's village was confronted by a man who hurled ink at party MP Sanjay Singh.

The United Nations in India also commented on the Hathras incident and the recent death of another Dalit woman after alleged gang-rape in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur, provoking a strong reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs.

The FIR lodged at Chandpa police station in Hathras district against 'unknown persons' mentioned alleged attempts to foment cast conflict, promoting enmity between groups and tarnish the image of the government and invoked section 124A of the Indian Penal Code -- the serious charge of sedition.

Eighteen other sections of the Indian Penal Code and one under the IT Act were also listed in the FIR on Sunday afternoon.

In Lucknow on Monday, state's Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said there are FIRs registered on similar lines in other UP districts as well.

Besides six cases at different police stations in Hathras, 13 more FIRs have been filed in Bijnor, Saharanpur, Bulandshahar, Allahabad, Ayodhya and Lucknow for vitiating the atmosphere, he said.

The FIRs also deal with matter posted on social media.

In his remarks to Bharatiya Janata Party workers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referred to 'recent incidents' and said 'anarchist elements' are trying to trigger communal and caste violence in the state.

A 19-year-old girl was allegedly raped on September 14 in a village in Hathras and succumbed to her injuries a fortnight later at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. Her hurried cremation in the dead of the night, allegedly without the parents' consent, created further outrage.

An AAP group that travelled to Hathras Monday to meet her family was confronted by a man who hurled ink at MP Sanjay Singh, smudging the leader's white kurta just as he was about to speak with the media.

'PFI dalal wapas jao' (PFI agents, go back), he shouted.

The reference was to Popular Front of India, which has been accused in the past -- including by the Adityanath government -- of being an extremist group.

The man was immediately taken into custody by police.

Singh later posted a photo on Twitter, purportedly showing the man who threw ink at him with ADGP (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar.

Apart from the sedition charge, the FIR lodged at Chandpa police station also lists sections related to conspiracy and intention to cause public alarm.

Police also included section 67 of the IT Act, which deals with transmitting obscene material in electronic form.

In a statement in Delhi, UN Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien said, 'The UN in India is profoundly saddened and concerned at the continuing cases of sexual violence against women and girls in India.'

The MEA called the comment 'unwarranted'.

'UN Resident Coordinator in India should be aware that these cases have been taken extremely seriously by the government,' a statement, adding that the investigation is still underway.

In Lucknow, poet Munawwar Rana's daughter Sumaiya Rana claimed she was put under house arrest for several hours, with police stopping her from going out to paste posters related to the Hathras episode. Police denied the allegation.

Police also said they have tightened security around the Hathras victim's house.

In the past, however, the family members have claimed they have faced intimidation from police officials around them.

While Adityanath accused the opposition of fomenting trouble between communities, senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chowdhury hurled the same charge at Adityanath.

"The chief minister, in a bid to hide his failures, is inciting his party men. The conspiracy of caste and communal violence should be thwarted," he said.

Left-affiliated activists and others burnt Adityanath's effigy at Delhi's Jantar Mantar.

Congress workers protested in Jaipur where the party's chief whip Mahesh Joshi said the CM is acting like North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party held a demonstration in Jammu.

A joint delegation of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Communist Party of India will visit Hathras on Tuesday.

Leaders from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Bhim Army have already travelled there.

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