Facing flak from different quarters following the alleged gang rape and brutal murder of a Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday claimed that the outrage was part of an "international conspiracy" aimed at instigating sectarian violence and tarnishing the image of the state.
UP police also lodged an FIR listing as many as 19 charges, including those of sedition and promoting enmity between different groups in this regard.
A senior UP police official here claimed that there was a conspiracy to foment trouble in the state on the lines of 'Black Lives Matter' (BLM) with foreign funding.
"Several websites came up suddenly after the Hathras incident...they started uploading fake videos, pictures and provocative content in a bid to instigate violence," the official said.
The police singled out a website, which they claimed had also prepared a site for BLM protests in the USA.
The cops said that some organisations, which had helped the protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), were also trying to foment trouble after Hathras incident.
"Many such websites have disappeared...we are trying to track them..we will take strict action against them...we have some audio tapes also in our possession, which support the conspiracy charge," the official said.
An FIR was registered at Chandapa police station in Hathras on Monday under sections 124 A (sedition), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (Intending to cause Public Alarm), among others.
Senior Congress leader P L Punia, however, termed the conspiracy charge as an "imaginary story" put forth by the BJP to divert attention from the case.
The SC teen had been brutally assaulted by four youths and died in the hospital. The family members alleged that she was gang raped. The police allegedly held her family and hostage and cremated the body at midnight on Tuesday. All the four accused have been arrested
The police claimed that the postmortem report and forensic examination of the Hathras victim did not confirm 'rape or gang rape' and that she had died owing to injury on her neck.
UP government has already recommended a CBI inquiry into the incident.