In videos accessed by Republic TV, Uttar Pradesh’s BJP MLAs can be seen attending singer Kailash Kher’s concert in Etah district on Sunday amid tense situation in the adjacent strife-torn Kasganj district, which is nearly 32 kms away.
Kailash Kher performs at the concert in Etah district, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday
BJP MLAs Devendra Singh Lodhi (left) and Devendra Pratap (right) at Kailash Kher's concert in Etah district, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday
In the visuals, BJP MLAs Devendra Singh Lodhi and Devendra Pratap are seen seated at Kailash Kher’s concert.
When Republic TV confronted Devendra Pratap, he apologised for attending the event.
"My thought wasn't right. I shouldn't have gone, but I had given my time much in advance and I went for sometime after he requested me. I say sorry for doing so," said Pratap.
Pratap also made another shocking statement while being questioned by Republic TV. He said that there has been no 'incident' at Kasganj.
"I had gone there. I spoke to many families. Some people had lit fire because it was cold in several parts. There has been no incident. Administrations are working fine and everything is fine," said Pratap.
When Republic TV confronted BJP MLA Devendra Singh Lodhi, he refused to answer the questions and walked away.
At least three shops, two private buses and a car were torched in Kasganj on Saturday after 19-year-old Chandan was killed in clashes following stone-pelting by a mob on a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate the Republic Day.
As many as 112 people were arrested and security forces personnel intensified vigil in the strife-torn Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh where the situation remained tense but peaceful on Sunday, two days after clashes between two communities claimed one life.
The UP Police said the situation was headed towards normalcy. They also said three drone cameras had been deployed for aerial surveillance.
Explosives were found during house-to-house searches following which the state police chief said the stringent National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against the culprits.
The Yogi Adityanath-led government, meanwhile, stressed that the guilty would not be spared.
An official statement issued by the UP Police said, "So far, 112 persons have been arrested. As many as 31 accused have been arrested, and 81 preventive arrests have been made."
It said five cases have been registered so far, of which, three were registered by station in-charge of Kasganj Kotwali.
Cases were registered under various sections of the IPC, CLA (Criminal Law Amendment) Act and for violation of the National Flag Act, the statement said.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) intensified vigil in the city.
Meanwhile, the opposition BSP and SP targeted the state government on the law and order front.
In a statement, BSP chief Mayawati claimed that in the entire country and especially in BJP-ruled UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, development and public welfare activities had taken a backseat while a poor law and order situation prevailed.
She alleged that there had been criminalisation of the ruling BJP at every level.
She said the BSP condemned the violence and demanded that stringent punishment for the guilty.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan alleged, "The government is staging riots in Kasganj. We do not want the resignation of the chief minister. We simply want peace and normalcy to return to the place which is synonymous with the Ganga-Jamuni culture of the state".
He alleged that for the past three days volunteers of the RSS, the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the ABVP were threatening people and an atmosphere of fear prevailed. "The government is quiet. The police is helpless," he claimed.
(With PTI inputs)