Rahul Upadhyay, a 25-year-old Hindu youth, whose ‘death’ helped the communal outfits to unleash violence and attack Muslims in Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday presented himself before media to prove the he’s still alive. Meanwhile, the police have apprehended four people for spreading false rumours of his death.
“I assure you, I am alive. Don’t use my death to incite violence. I don’t want to become famous like this,” Upadhyay, who was surrounded by media persons at Kotwali Police station in Kasganj. Upadhyay was declared dead by some “rumour mongers” on social media. The “news” picked up and was carried in a number of newspapers too.
From a family of farmers, Upadhyay was at home in Nagla Khanji village in Aligarh. After learning of his “death”, he received snapshots of social media images announcing his death. “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.”
IG, Aligarh, Sanjeev Gupta on Monday requested Upadhyay to meet as many media persons as possible. “Contrary to rumours spread on social media, Rahul Upadhyay is alive,” he told reporters.
The rumours claimed that Upadhyay died along with Abhishek Gupta in communal clashes in Kasganj on Friday. The violence was triggered by a march to mark the Republic Day. A clash erupted between two groups when Hindutva activists, who were holding saffron flags attacked a group of Muslims who were hoisting national flag. The fight intensified and both groups started 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.
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, police said.
Meanwhile, a reporter with a media channel was allegedly shoved by relatives of the deceased Gupta Monday, said police. Speaking about the incident, IG Gupta said, “The family members were not happy with the news coverage done by the channel. It was good that police reached in time and we were able to prevent an untoward incident.”
I’m still alive, don’t use my ‘death’ to incite communal violence: Hindu youth tells media