A tentative peace in Kasganj district (Uttar Pradesh state) appeared to be holding as of Wednesday, January 31, following a wave of intercommunal violence that had rocked the area since Friday, January 26. Several shops previously closed since the violence erupted on Friday reopened in Kasganj city on Tuesday; internet services, some of which were suspended following the outbreak of unrest, were reinstated on Tuesday evening. Limited unrest, however, was observed in Ganjdundwara and Amapur on Tuesday.
A continued heightened security presence is expected and an outbreak of renewed intercommunal violence remains possible in Kasganj district in the coming days.
Sectarian clashes broke out in Kasganj district on January 26 when two groups reportedly threw stones at one another during a motorcycle rally. Initial reports claimed one teenager was killed in the clashes; however, he was later reported alive on January 30, although that information has not been confirmed. Material damages were also reported during the unrest, as several small businesses and vehicles were set on fire. Indian security forces have maintained a heightened security presence in the area in recent days, arresting over 100 people believed to have participated in the unrest or conspired to commit further acts of violence and incite clashes.
The clashes came shortly after the celebration of Republic Day in India on January 26. According to local sources, demonstrators shouted "Long live India!" in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Kasganj district on January 26, inciting verbal arguments between the demonstrators and residents and an eventual outbreak of violence.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and protests due to potential violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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