Post Kasganj riots, alive man was rumoured as ‘murdered’ to instigate hatred

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The violence which took place in Kasganj on Republic Day, a news went viral where a 24 year old man named Rahul Upadhyay was dead.

Rahul was a media graduate from Noida, who now runs a small news outlet. Therein he received a phone call on Saturday, asking him if was dead and he replied astonishingly that, “at first, I was surprised and thought someone was joking. Then I received another call and then another. That is when I realised something was wrong.”

He is from a family of farmers and when the news got spreaded he was at home in Nagla Khanji village in Aligarh and he said, “I realised there were people who were using me to try and instigate further violence. The narrative was a, out Hindus being killed and I reached out to police and district administration. Eventually I got through.”

On monday, the Aligarh IG Sanjeev Gupta said “Contrary to rumours spread on social media, Rahul Upadhyay is alive,” and he insisted him to go to as many as media possible. Indian express reported his statement as, “Even we were very surprised. There was no person of this name who lived in the area, let alone being injured in the violence. But there were some who were trying to spread these rumours. We have made four arrests.”

The rumours spreaded that with Abhishek, Rahul also was claimed as dead. Sparring groups of Hindus and Muslims, who started with hurling stones at each other, later fired shots, which left Gupta (22) dead. The next day saw a second spate of violence during which several Muslim-owned shops were gutted in retaliation to Gupta’s death, said police and with this violence march took place.

Police said that, Police has so far detained 82 people and arrested 31 persons in connection with the violence. No arrests have been made under the charges of murder yet. The IG Gupta said, “The family members were not happy with the news coverage done by this channel. It was good that police reached in time and we were able to prevent an untoward incident.”

One local community leader went to him and said, “You’re now famous. You can do good for the community by spreading a message of peace.” Rahul replied, “I didn’t want to become famous like this.”

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