Seven more held for Augustmuni flare-up, section 144 in force
Seven more people were arrested on Saturday for a stoking a communal flare-up at Augustmuni town in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district, police said, adding that the situation has been brought under control.
Three people, including two from Uttar Pradesh, were booked on Friday for fanning communal tensions through a fake Facebook post that claimed that a Muslim boy raped a Hindu girl at Agastmuni.
Shops were burnt and public property was vandalised, following which section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was enforced which empowers the magistrate to prohibit assembly of more than four people in an area.
Additional forces from adjoining Pauri, Tehri and Chamoli districts were deployed at Augustmuni, and police took out a flag march on Saturday. Security was scaled up in Ukhimath, Guptkashi and Rudraprayag in Kadernath valley, police said.
The post circulated on Facebook attached a picture of a couple in a compromising position, police officials said. Rudraprayag superintendent of police (SP) Prahlad Singh Meena ruled out rape. “In fact, someone in a building clicked a picture of a couple in a compromising position, and it was dubbed as a rape incident,” he had said.
Rudraprayag district magistrate (DM) Mangesh Ghildiyal through a post on social media had also refuted rape. “We had enforced Section 144 in the area until normalcy resumes,” Ghildiyal said.
Mehkar Singh and Santu, both from Amroha in UP, and Soni Kumar from Haridwar were arrested on Friday for uploading the picture and the post on Facebook. They were booked under the IT Act and sections 354C and 299 of IPC.
“The situation is under control,” said Pushpak Jyoti, deputy inspector general (DIG), Garhwal range.