Under the disguise of implementing law and order, the Yogi Adityanath government has come up with a new standard of justice that includes going soft on Hindutva rioters by making them government witnesses. For the government, it does not matter if these people are accused of grave charges.
During the violent clashes, that took place in Kasganj on January 26, over an unauthorised ‘Tiranga Yatra’, Chandan Gupta – a local youth who was leading the controversial yatra – was shot, after which full-blown riots rocked the western UP district for almost a week. A total of 36 men were arrested for their alleged involvements in the riots, revealed the special investigation team (SIT) report filed by Mahor Singh Tomar, sub inspector of Kotwali Kasganj, for FIR number 59. The FIR also listed Anukalp Chauhan, Saurabhpal and Vishal Thakur as the one who had led the ‘Tiranga Yatra’.
However, in a recent turn of events, the SIT chargesheet, compiled and filed by Crime Branch Inspector Rameshchandra Yadav for FIR number 60, which was lodged by Chandan’s father, Sushil Gupta against 24 men, including Saleem Javed, Wasim Javed, Nasim Javed and others, mentions 23 government witness – including Chauhan and Saurabhpal. This, despite the fact, that the duo have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for FIR number 59.
The charges against them include Section 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC. Thakur has also been charged with IPC section 307 (attempt to murder).
Chauhan, who is the son of a court clerk in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Kasganj, has been granted bail, even though he has been charged with non-bailable offences. The trio -- Chauhan, Saurabhpal and Thakur -- is also said to have close relations with a local BJP MLA.
Interestingly, Chauhan and Saurabhpal -- the two government witnesses -- have also recorded almost identical statements about the turn of events that led to the murder of Chandan Gupta.
“We were on motorcycle for ‘Tiranga Yatra’. As soon we reached near Baddu Nagar, the local men stopped us and engaged in a heated argument. Soon a clash broke out and we left the motorcycle to save ourselves. We witnessed stone pelting and arson at Bilram gate, Tehsil road,” the two men said, adding that shortly afterwards they were accosted by a group of men and told to shout ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. When they refused, the assailants pelted them with stones and opened fire, in which Chandan Gupta was injured and killed. “We also sustained injuries, but we did not visit a doctor for medical aid,” read the statements of Chauhan and Saurabpal.