Bareilly DM questions 'trend to enter' Muslim localities, raise anti-Pakistan slogans, stokes controversy

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to probe the violence that erupted in Kasganj on the Republic Day.

Bareilly DM questions 'trend to enter' Muslim localities, raise anti-Pakistan slogans, stokes controversy
Pic courtesy:

New Delhi: Bareilly District Magistrate Raghvendra Vikram Singh has stoked controversy with his remarks on social media, saying it has become a trend for some to enter Muslim areas, raise anti-Pakistan slogans and create a ruckus.

Singh posted a message on his Facebook page on Januaray 28, 2018, which said - "A strange tradition has been formed. To take a procession into Muslim-dominated localities and raise 'death to Pakistan' slogans. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis? The same thing had happened in Bareilly's Khailam. Then stones were pelted, FIRs lodged," as per DNA.

He was referring to an incident during July 2018 when some men participating in kanwar yatra had insisted on taking their procession through Muslim-dominated Khailam village. At that time clashes had broken out and many had been injured.

In another post on Facebook, the DM asked as to why slogans are never raised against 'bigger enemy' China.

"China is a bigger enemy to us. Why isn't the tricolour being waved and anti-China slogans shouted?" - he wrote.

However, Singh did not name Kasganj in his post but it was assumed that he was referring to the latest clashes in Uttar Pradesh between two communities. Later, after a controversy broke out, he deleted the post and posted a fresh one saying he was only talking about the law and order situation in Bareilly during kanwar yatra.

"I had hoped there will be an academic discussion but unfortunately it had taken a different turn. Extremely sad. I had no intention of hurting anyone. It's the duty of the administration to maintain communal harmony. Muslims are our brothers. They are our blood. They have the same DNA... There is no doubt that Pakistan is our enemy. There is also no doubt that our Muslims are ours. I just want this controversy to end. I apologise if our friends and brothers are pained because of me."

On the other hand, he told ANI regarding his FB post, "The law and order situations that emerge in the state due to activities that take place without permission creates a lot of issues, also hinders development activities in the state."

Singh who took charge as the DM of Bareilly in 2017, has also served as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, a magisterial inquiry has been ordered to probe the violence that erupted in Kasganj last week, said police on Tuesday. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been constituted to probe incidence, said Sanjeev Kumar, Aligarh Inspector General.

Also, the UP government has shunted out Kasganj Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar Singh to "a less significant post", according to officials. Piyush Srivastava was appointed the new Kasganj SP, officials said. Singh was sent to Police Training School, Meerut, in the same rank, they said.

At the same time, the state authorities presented a cheque of Rs 20 lakh to family members of Chandan Gupta, who was killed in the violence.

UP police had also tweeted:

At least three shops, two buses and a car were torched after Gupta was killed in clashes following stone-pelting by a mob on a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate Republic Day.

Volunteers of organisations like the Vishva Hindu Parishad, Hindu Mahasabha and ABVP had taken out the rally - 'tiranga yatra', PTI reported. After passing through the Kotwali area, they were about to pass through a Muslim dominated area when some people objected to its passage.

This resulted in a heated exchange of words and eventually escalated to firing in which Gupta lost his life, according to officials.

(With Agency inputs)