One killed, 3 injured in Uttar Pradesh communal clash (Second Lead)

September 7th, 2008 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Sep 7 (IANS) A youth was killed Sunday and three 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 on about 150 motorcycles through a Muslim dominated locality.

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 Takiya 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.”

Vijay Garg, senior superintendent of police Azamgarh, said: “The dead youth has been identified as Munnar Ahmed.”

“The incident took place at around 1:30 p.m. and besides throwing stones, few shots were also fired in the air,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.

“The brick batting resulted in retaliatory action by those accompanying the MP resulting in the death of one person,” said inspector SK Singh of Kotwali police station on phone.

Three people were injured and one of them is said by the doctors to be critical, he added. The injured have been admitted in the government hospital.

The situation in the area was stated to be “tense but under control”.

“Besides the local police, para military forces have also been deployed in the area to avert any untoward incident,” Singh added.

While heavy police deployments were made in the communally sensitive town to prevent any recurrence of violence, Yogi Adityanath left the town for Gorakhpur 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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