A joint committee of PVCHR, Sangram Samiti, Jharkhand and Jeevan Jyoti Samiti, Ambedkar Nagar reached Kasganj at UP on March 18, 2018 to provide psychosocial support to the riot victims. On enquiry, it was revealed that some families had already migrated to other places out of fear, while others have fled leaving everything behind. However, the saddest part was that several women were also forced to stay put at other places due to fear. A large number of people were at the same also striving for getting justice without caring for their life.
Even several days after the incident, the rioters continued to put shops on fire even as human rights activist Rahul and his brother Nishant tried to stop the rioters from their criminal act in their locality. The same night, police picked up Rahul Yadav, his brother Atul Yadav, Nishant Yadav and father Raju Yadav. In this matter, Lok Kalyan Samiti (LKS) complained to the hon’ble chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, human rights commission, director general of police and other senior officials.http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2018/01/urgent-intervention-against-communal.html
Five days before Republic Day, when the incident took place, a tweet which also tagged @myogiadityanath and @Uppolice claimed, “kindly look into the matter. This issue can snowball into a Hindu-Muslim clash. The second tweet referring to the various comments on the post and tagging @Uppolice and @uppol read, “please see all the comments.” The third tweet tagged @rajnathsingh and @Uppolice and read, “Sir, kindly look into the matter. This can snowball into Hindu-Muslim clash.
When the riots started on January 26, the youth uploaded a lengthy post on his facebook page a few hrs later in the afternoon around 2:22 pm. His facebook page describes him as ‘politician’ and with 8000 followers. The post said:0
“I had earlier expressed the apprehension of Hindu-Muslim clash in Kasganj and urged the hon’ble chief minister, hon’ble home minister, UP Police and top city police official to look into the matter. But, no one took my advise with alacrity. This riot has occurred solely due to the laxity of administration. As per reports of Media Vigil -http://www.mediavigil.com/investigation/kasganj-whistleblower-alerted-the-government-five-days-before-riots/)
The riots claimed the life of my son. The 44 year old Sangita Gupta, the mother of victim Chandan Gupta, said that my close knit family was so happy that we never regretted about our economic condition and as to how we were passing our days. I never knew that my son would be snatched away before my own eyes, never in my wildest dreams. I did not know that some evil eyes would cast spell on my happy family. On the fateful day on January 26, 2018, my son had asked me to prepare ‘kheer’ for him, which he would eat on returning after unfurling the tricolour. He also asked me to give milk to our dog. Later, he left the house at 7 in the morning. That day, I was busy in prayers and could not keep the track of time. Around 10:30, I came to know from some local people that a Hindu-Muslim riot had started over unfurling of tricolour. However, I did not give much attention to it and called up my son, and asked him to return home.
He said he was okay. Chandan asked me not to worry and that he would soon return even as he disconnected the phone call. However, I had started to worry for his safety, but I got engrossed in my prayers. Around 1 o’ clock, I got the news that my son had been shot and he had died. On getting the news, I lost all my composure and started to wail loudly and writhing in unbearable pain. My whole family started to cry and refused to come to terms with the sudden tragedy. I just wanted someone to return my son, my Kanhaiya to me, but the people only gave false solaces. With folded hands, I request someone to bring back my son, who has taken away Chandan, who was his enemy?
What have I done wrong to anyone that my son was killed? Why my son has been taken away from me; this was my refrain in my moments of grief. I used to tell my son that I would get myself medically treated after he started to earn and he assured me about the same. How can I forget all this, the world can afford to forget? I cannot forget my son, the people are only offering empty sympathies, but none is bringing my piece of heart back to me. If I ever knew that they would kill my son, I would not have let him go for the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ and hid him near my heart. But, my dear son has abandoned me. How can I express my grief before you people? He came in my dreams yesterday and said mother I will return. I am not able to forget him even in my dreams. Why are people giving false consolation to me? I can only see darkness all around; and my family has been rendered in perennial darkness now. My only request to you is to please bring back my son so that I could meet him.
Ever since Chandan died, there is no trace of Saurabh. According to 48 year old Sudha Pal, on January 29, 2018, the police had come knocking at my doors searching for my son Saurabh. I told them that he had gone to drop a marriage invitation card to his aunt on January 27, but they did not listen and instead entered my house. They ransacked everything, including my box and hurled expletives. They asked me to call my son else my husband would be put behind bars. We were scared as to what had my son had committed that prompted the cops to come to our house. None from my family had ever been jailed before. I cried before the policemen and pleaded to tell me what had Saurabh actually done. But, they continued to harass us and tried to forcibly enter our bathroom, when my sister-in-law’s daughter was inside. She frantically ran outside when they were trying to force entry.
They were busy trying to search for Saurabh at all the places and issuing threats that if he was not found, they would instead round up my husband. Later, they picked up my husband, brother-in-law and my nephews. Around 3:00, we went to the police station for seeking their bail. The released my two nephews on bail in the evening, but my husband continued to be in their captivity even after 5 days. I pleaded before them to free my husband but they insisted that I must first produce Saurabh. I maintained that I did not know about his whereabouts and that I was myself worried about his safety and been keeping ill. The cops said that Saurabh’s name was included as one of the accused in the murder case of Chandan Gupta. I said Saurabh had gone to drop the marriage invitation and that his mobile phone was also switched off. I prayed that my husband be released as we ourselves were clueless about his whereabouts.
Finally, they released my husband after 5 days of captivity. After that, the cops regularly visited our house in search of Saurabh, but I don’t know where he is. My son had opened a centre by the name of Sankalp Foundation to facilitate blood donation for the poor people. It has been two years since. God knows, why such hard times befall on good people. I await for Saurabh all day and night, even the children ask me when would their Saurabh chacha return, which makes me poignant. I don’t know what should I tell them. God knows who cursed my son that he has gone missing. I have lost all sleep and hunger now. I don’t feel thirsty too. I just imagine my son before my eyes and wonder if ever I would be able to see him again or not. I am still eagerly awaiting his return. I pray to god for his wellbeing wherever he is and that he returns to him mother at the earliest. I don’t want this fate to befall on even enemies what we are facing today.
Police took away my father and later he was put behind bars, while the mother died in the meantime: Rahat Hussain, 27 years, son of Mohd Nooruddin Hussain of Baddunagar locality, lane number 3, town Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh.
My happy family had my father, mother, four brothers and three sisters. My father ran a rice shop to make the ends meet. We had a satisfied existence.
The incident is as follows: My father was in his rice shop. He had little to do with the worldly affairs, but only visited the mosque to offer prayers. He was concerned about his family welfare. On January 26, two groups of boys clashed, which soon took the ugly turn of Hindu-Muslim clash. However, the truth is that there had never been any Hindu-Muslim riots in Kasganj. That day, my shop was closed. On the following day, my father opened the shop and returned after completing the day’s work. We had nothing to do with that incident. On January 31, a large posse of cops arrived at our house as if some dreaded gangster was hiding and started banging at out door. My mother got scared, so scared that she started to fumble for words. We somehow pacified her and calmed her down. That night, the police took along my father and brother saying they would be released after interrogation.
That day, the tranquility of our home was lost forever. My family members were going insane with every member grieving. We did not know whom to clam and whom to give hope. We had practically become sick and there was no one to guide us. Our mother’s condition was fast deteriorating and finally the unfortunate day also arrived on February 8, when she left us forever. Our family had been destroyed and there was nothing left. I was furious at those people who had turned a fight between two people into such bad turn of events in Kasganj that everyone was grieving, including both Hindus and Muslims. We were unsure as what to do. Together with our neighbours, we buried our mother. We were petrified with the thought as to how would our father react to the news of her death. However, he came to know about it. Our father was already keeping in bad health and this development further broke him from inside. But he was helpless. What could he do any ways. Our last resort was only God.
Who could any how convince the cops as to the passing away of our mother. The riots had indeed rendered us as orphans. We don’t know what to say to others. Our shop has remained shut since our father was jailed. I don’t have the courage to open it. When we venture out, people look down upon us, saying look their father and brother had been put behind bars. What has my father done that he has been incarcerated, but no one is coming forth to offer any explanation. Going to jail has become a sin. We only hope that my father is freed somehow, so that he takes over his obligations and our life returns to the normal track. Ever since this incident has occurred, we only eat to stay alive. We have not actually eaten anything. It seems like we are on perpetual fasting. Now, that you people have come to listen to our side of story. This gives us hope that someone has come to help us in our times of misery.
Attempts to silence the voices being raised against the threat of sending to jail – At the instance of the government, the administration had crossed all limits, so many innocents were put behind bars and jailed on fabricated charges.
Another incident: On January 29, the general environment was revolving around the hoisting of the tricolour. Shabnam’s husband Mohsin Malik of Nawabgali locality in Bagia Sattar had gone to offer namaz in the mosque. However, the cops cunningly asked him to fetch the Aadhar Card and later put him behind bars after showing the false recovery of 312 bore gun and 8 live cartridges. Similarly, several other innocent persons were trapped under false charges and jailed.
Loss of livelihood ruining people’s lives: The government and administration has brought the victims of the riots on the verge of starvation. People started dying of hunger, while children cry for food. People don’t even discard stale food to stay alive. Their condition has also proved that a hungry body would do anything for food. People don’t have enough money to provide food to their children. The wounded people are unable to get medical care due to lack of money. Children are devoid of education. The families whose members have been jailed have no money to fight their case.
PVCHR organized a FOLK school FOR SURVIVORS in Delhi and please find links:
Kindly forward the following demands on the addresses given as under: -
- Institute an independent judicial inquiry into the Kasganj communal riots and murder
- Chandan Gupta’s family be provided with a government job and compensation
- Compensation to the riot victims for rehabilitation
- Action against guilty policemen
- Revocation of false cases against people
National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block CGPO Complex, INA,
Uttar Pradesh Government,
Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan,
Director General of Police
1-B N Lahiri Marg,
PVCHR urgent appeal desk (firstname.lastname@example.org)