Communal violence in Uttar Pradesh town, 1 dead (Lead)

September 7th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Sep 7 (IANS) A youth was killed Sunday and a few people were injured in arson and communal violence that followed a rally by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh town, the police said.Yogi, who apart from being the party MP from Gorakhpur town, is the founder chief of Hindu Vahini, a hardliner Hindu fundamentalist organization that commands a large following in major parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Violence erupted earlier during the day as some people pelted stones at slogan-shouting youths riding through a Muslim dominated locality on about 150 motorcycles.

Sporting saffron outfits and raising high-pitch pro-Hindutva slogans, they were accompanying a convoy of Yogi Adityanath who was on his way to address an “anti-terrorism” rally at the DAV college in Azamgarh, about 350 km from here.

Significantly, the rally was titled “Atankwad Virodhi Hindu Chetna rally” (anti terrorism Hindu awakening rally), where the BJP MP left no stone unturned to provoke a communal clash by making sweeping anti-Muslim remarks.

And the slogans that rent the air included, “Baccha-Bachcha Ram ka, Janmbhoomi ke kaam ka” (Every child is a child of Ram and his duty is to serve the birth place of Ram) and “Jis Hindu ka khoon na khaula, khoon nahin woh paani hai” (Any Hindu whose blood does not boil, does not have blood but water running in his veins).

Just as Adityanath’s motorcade moved out of the locality, some stones were hurled at the motor-bikes.

“Retaliation followed and soon the violence escalated from both sides with some people even opening fire and also resorting to arson,” Brij Lal, state’s additional director general of police, told IANS here.

“The body of a youth was discovered inside a Bolero jeep, abandoned in the area, together with a completely charred Maruti car,” Lal said.

He, however, added: “But we are still trying to ascertain whether this killing was connected to the communal flare-up or not.”

While heavy police deployments were made in the communally sensitive town to prevent any recurrence of violence, Yogi Adityanath left the town with his huge entourage, though not without a warning to “teach a lesson” to those who attempted to disrupt his rally.

Earlier, he was not prepared to leave the town and had even gone to the extent of threatening to “burn down Azamgarh” if those involved in disrupting his programme were not arrested immediately.

On the intervention of administrative and police officials, he agreed to move out.

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