Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested four people, Siddiqui of Nagla in Muzaffarnagar, Siddique of Malappuram, Masood Ahmed of Jarwal in Bahraich district, and Alam of Kotwali area in Rampur district in connection to the Hathras case on Monday. So far, police have filed 21 cases across the state.
As per the reports, the arrested four have connections with Popular Front of India (PFI) and were planning to cause caste-based unrest in the state. The police have alleged that they were conspiring to spoil the government’s image and disturb the atmosphere in the area.
On Monday, Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), said police received information about suspected persons traveling from Delhi to Hathras. The police intercepted their vehicle. Upon questioning their connection with PFI and Campus Front of India (CFI) came into light.
Conspiracy to cause riots and communal tension
ADG Kumar said there are a total of six cases in various police station areas of Hathras district. 13 cases were filed for making objectionable comments on social media platforms in Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Saharanpur, Hathras, Ayodhya, Prayagraj and Lucknow. The four suspects were arrested as a preventive measure as they are allegedly involved in a conspiracy to cause tension in the state under the pretext of Hathras incident. Recently, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also said that conspiracies are hatching to spread communal riots in the state and the rest of the country. He also alleged foreign funding involved in the conspiracy.
Charges against the alleged conspirators
As per the reports, police have recovered the mobile, laptop, and suspected literature from the suspects. The FIR launched against the four has serious charges, including threatening the unity and integrity of the country (treason).
The cases have been filed under section 109 (abetment of offense) of the Indian Penal Code, 124A (attempt to threaten the unity and integrity of the country-treason) 120-B (conspiracy), 153 -A (Spreading hate based on religion, language and caste), 153-B (Statements adversely affecting national integrity), 195 (Formation of evidence), 465 (Counterfeiting), 468 (Use of malicious documents), 501 ( A total of 20 sections, including defamatory printing), 505 (statement making the atmosphere of fear) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008.
Use of social media and other communication methods
ADG Kumar said there are attempts to spoil the atmosphere of the state via provocative posters and social media posts. Police also learned about viral audio that has been making rounds on social media as well as on messaging services like WhatsApp. Several investigation agencies are looking into the matter. It was reported on Monday that a website was made to provide information on how to launch protests across the country without getting identified by the police. The website also urged people to donate for the protests. After the uproar, the website was deleted. Police are gathering information about the people behind the website.
Involvement of the media, opposition leaders and a case against the unknown reporter
The cases filed in the Hathras case also include a case against an unnamed reporter for allegedly calling the brother to ask his parents to make a video saying they are not satisfied with the administration’s actions. OpIndia gained exclusive access to the recordings, after which the alleged “spoon-feeding of the words” went viral on the social media.
A similar case has been filed against an unknown leader who was pressurizing the victim’s family to give a statement that they are not satisfied with the state government. Some politicians and leaders also provoked the family on the pretext of providing more compensation. It has to be noted that the government has already announced 25 lakh in total as compensation.
The Hathras case
The Hathras case has become a political battleground where the justice for the victim seems to have taken a backseat as politicians huddle up to score political brownies. Every political party in the opposition is trying to use the tragedy for their gain and the media is not far behind in using it for their own interests. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter with numerous facets emerging to the story. The chronology of the events in the Hathras case can be explored here.