Additional forces deployed, internet suspended as tension prevails in Aligarh

The brutal crime triggered national outrage, leading to the authorities suspending several policemen as well as blocking internet services in Khair area to prevent fake news and video clips from spreading misinformation on social media.

Aligarh tense
Aligarh: Authorities maintained a tight vigil in Tappal on Monday suspending internet services and deploying additional forces, a day after police thwarted attempts by right-wing groups to hold a “mahapanchayat” in the town against the brutal murder of a toddler.
District Magistrate (DM) Chandra Bhushan Singh ordered suspension of all Internet services in the entire Khair tehsil area till midnight, an official release said on Monday.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been promulgated in Tappal, which falls under Khair tehsil.
Following the brutal killing of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl in Tappal, some mischief-mongers had been spreading rumours and circulating fake video clips on social media, the release said, adding that these posts were likely to inflame communal tension.
The police were monitoring all such posts and strong punitive steps would be taken against all anti-social elements, the DM said.
The police struggled to keep the situation under control at Tappal throughout the day on Sunday, when protestors kept mounting pressure on the authorities for meting out “instant justice” in the murder case.
They managed to thwart an attempt by right-wing groups to hold a “mahapanchayat” to vent anger against the perpetrators of the crime. The call for the “mahapanchayat” was reportedly given on social media platforms by some Hindutva groups.
People from the neighbouring districts tried to reach Tappal to attend the “mahapanchayat” but were prevented by the police.
The call for this gathering to neighbouring villages was reportedly given via social media platforms by some Hindutva groups.
A reporter from Delhi, who had gone to cover the incident and was returning to the capital, corroborated this and wrote a social media post after seeing truckloads of people sporting ‘bhagwa’ stoles and scarves heading towards Tappal.
“The situation is under control. We will not allow anyone to create discord under the garb of genuine protest,” Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) Akash Kulhari said.
He said action had been initiated against some persons for allegedly misusing social media platforms to fan communal passions. The SSP denied reports of migration of Muslims from Tappal, saying “a few persons may have moved out temporarily, but they will return shortly.”
The Circle Officer of Tappal, Pankaj Srivastava, was transferred on Monday as a fallout of the events of the past few days.
Many denounced the role social media and authorities played in communalizing the incident and spreading fake news.
The brutal crime triggered national outrage, leading to the authorities suspending several policemen as well as blocking internet services in Khair area to prevent fake news and video clips from spreading misinformation on social media.
Since the accused belong to the Muslim community, right-wing groups, such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, are allegedly egging the victim’s family to seek “instant justice” against the accused.
Days after the gruesome Aligarh murder, a Muslim family, travelling from Ballabhgarh, Haryana, in a van, escaped from getting attacked by an angry mob. When asked, the police confirmed that the incident took place near Jattari area, 45 km from Aligarh. The family was reportedly travelling with a co-passenger, Puja Chauhan, who saved their lives, when a group of men on motorbikes attacked their van with iron rods, Shafi Mohammad Abbasi, one of the travellers, told the local media.
Attempts to give a communal colour to the heinous crime, began soon after the Uttar Pradesh police revealed the names of the accused.
Newsclick spoke to some journalists who visited Tappal area recently, who confirmed that they saw saffron-scarved groups taking over the streets, trying to vitiate the atmosphere
Praising the victim’s family, a journalist who visited Tappal, requesting anonymity, told Newsclick, “Family members of the Aligarh murder victim are very wise. Otherwise, activists of VHP and Bajrang Dal left no stone unturned to make it communal and are still trying hard. When I visited the victim’s house, I found three leaders, including a district president of VHP and Bajrang Dal, accompanied by 10-12 others, chatting with the victim’s father and grandfather. They kept mounting pressure on them to take revenge.”
The journalist claimed that one Bajrang Dal activist from the crowd, who was making inflammatory remarks against Muslims, even asked them to shut their camera. The saving grace, according to this journalist, was that the victim’s father seemed sensible as he did not get convinced. He told them he also wanted justice but through law.
Post-mortem report shows no signs of rape
The post-mortem report conducted on the deceased has no mention of rape. This was clarified by Aligarh police via a tweet, in response to a social media user who claimed that the victim had been raped.

According to Aligarh police, the post-mortem report reveals the victim was strangulated. Two persons- Zahid and Aslam were arrested and sent to jail. The financial dispute was the motive for the crime. The same was reiterated by SSP Aligarh in a video bite posted on Twitter by Aligarh police.

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