LUCKNOW: In a concerted crackdown targeting organisations and individuals accused of “fomenting caste violence in the garb of seeking justice for the Hathras girl”, UP police on Monday lodged 19 FIRs across eight cities and arrested six people on charges of spreading rumours to vitiate the atmosphere.
Without naming any political party or organisation, additional DGP (law and order) Prashant Kumar told reporters in Lucknow that the police had got wind of an organised campaign to keep UP on the edge by playing on public sentiments and trying to buy off the family of the 19-year-old Dalit girl who died after being allegedly gang-raped by four upper-caste men.
“Various groups have used social media platforms to spread hatred, inciting people on caste lines and organising unlawful gatherings amid the pandemic,” Kumar said. “Some of these groups even offered Rs 50 lakh to the victim’s family to speak in their favour.” Six of the 19 FIRs have been lodged in Hathras.
A FIR registered at Chandpa police station in Hathras is against those who allegedly tried to instigate the victim’s kin to speak against the government and the local administration. Kumar said the family had been asked to say they were not satisfied with the assistance announced by the government.
Another FIR at the same police station mentions unidentified groups, all of whom have been booked for sedition and incitement of caste violence. Some of the other charges are promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration and forgery for the purpose of cheating and harming someone’s reputation. Sections of the IT Act have been slapped on the accused too. Cases have also been lodged in Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Prayagaraj, Mathura, Shamli and Saharanpur over “unlawful protests” and incitement through social media.