Fake video triggered UP violence


Muzaffarnagar/Lucknow: An online video of a violent incident that wrongly claims two men being lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradesh went viral and inflamed tensions in  volatile Muzzaffarnagar, the state government said on Sunday.
At a press conference on Sunday, home secretary Kamal Saxena said that the “fake video”, posted on YouTube and other social networks was at least two years old and appears not to have been filmed in Uttar Pradesh.
Asking people not to pay heed to rumours, IG, crime Ashish Gupta told reporters in Lucknow that some unscrupulous elements were using social networking sites and SMSes to spread rumours to create tension. At least 30 people have been killed in the communal clashes.
“A video is also being circulated through Facebook and other networking sites to create tension. I want to tell you that the said video is probably over two years old and is of some other country. I appeal to people that they should not pay heed to it”, he said.Arun Kumar, a senior police officer, said that the video had been blocked and that an investigation is trying to locate the person who uploaded it. Subscribers had also had a difficult time getting access to Internet services.
The video claims to capture the killing in Kawal village on August 27.  Locals said that three men were killed for trying to protect a woman who was being harassed.In protest, a meeting of thousands of farmers was called on Saturday and as the farmers were headed home, they were attacked. The UP home secretary said that permission was not given for the meeting, but could not reply as to how thousands of people were allowed to gather at the village.
Meanwhile, rattled by the flare-up in Muzaffarnagar, the top leadership of the SP went into a huddle in the state capital.
At a meeting convened at his residence, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is learnt to have expressed his displeasure at the inability of the state government in stopping the violence, despite the simmering overtones since August 27.
It was at his behest that the Army's help was sought to contain the spread of violence, which had found inroads into the countryside.
The SP chief is learnt to have told his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in no uncertain terms that incidents like this would not only hurt the party prospects in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but also “tar your image as an administrator”.
The Chief Minister is already under severe attack from the Opposition parties. “SP government's track-record in this tenure is bad. Haven’t been able to control communal forces in Uttar Pradesh, even BSP's was better,” Congress leader Digvijay Singh wrote on the micro blogging website Twitter.
The BSP too was critical of Akhilesh and sought his resignation over the issue. The VHP echoed the demand to the Mayawati-led party.

Army out in UP, clashes toll 30
Amita Verma | DC
Lucknow: Despite curfew in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, the violence spread to rural areas of the district on Sunday and 10 more people were killed in a communal flareup in five villages — Sisauli, Shahpur, Fugna, Dhaura Kalan and Kalapar.
The Army, which was called in around midnight on Saturday, staged a flag march in the affected areas of Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. ADG (law and order) Arun Kumar said the death toll in clashes had risen to 30, but other sources told this newspaper that the actual death toll could be much higher. A large quantity of arms and ammunition was also seized from some villages.
IG (STF) Ashish Gupta and state home secretary Kamal Saxena said in Lucknow that shoot-at-sight orders had been issued and that Army personnel had been forced to open fire at some places on Sunday to keep things within control.
The Centre on Sunday sought a report from the UP government on the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and other areas.
The bodies of riot victims were, meanwhile, sent for post-mortem on Sunday, and the last rites are due to be performed amid tight security later in the day. The bodies of two people were recovered from the Bhopa police station area on Sunday and one from the Chapar police station area.
District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma admitted that several people were still reported missing.Over 54 people had been arrested for the violence in the area.
The district administration did not allow distribution of newspapers in the district on Sunday morning, and Internet services were also shut down. Mobile networks remained partially jammed, while cable and DTH services were also disrupted as a precautionary measure.
All schools in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut will be closed for the next three days.
Violence spreads, Mulayam meets CM
Facing flak from the opposition over Muza­ffar­nagar communal clashes, Samajwadi Par­ty supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Sunday held a meeting with CM Akhilesh Yadav, ministers and senior officials while the Army staged a flag march in the strife-torn district.Yadav held the meeting at his residence in which Chief Secretary Javed Usmani, Principal Secre­tary Home RM Srivas­ta­va and other ministers were also present.
Expressing displeasure over violence, Yadav asked them to ensure that law and order is maintained. “The incident is unfortunate. Our government is committed to strictly dealing with such incidents.,” UP minister Shahid Manzoor said. 

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