Barun Kashyap, a creative director with a film agency who sparked controversy in August after claiming that an auto driver had bullied him for using a bag made of cowhide, has now recanted, saying that he spun a web of lies to create communal tension.
According to Mumbai Mirror, which accessed his confessional statement with the Mumbai Police, it was Kashyap's "hatred towards the Hindus" that prompted him to lie.
Kashyap reportedly said:
"I accept that I lied about the entire incident. No such incident ever took place. My Facebook post was a lie... I lied because have hatred towards Hindus [sic]."
In August, Kashyap had claimed that a 'gau rakshak' auto rickshaw driver with a tika and a 'saffron-coloured muffler' in Mumbai had harassed him, claiming his leather bag was made from cow-hide.
Kashyap's statements had far-reaching consequences with hashtags that showed solidarity on Twitter, to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promising to punish the culprit.
Earlier this month, Kashyap dramatically confessed that he had cooked up the entire incident merely because he needed an excuse for reporting late to work. Kashyap had also hoped that the controversy would fetch him free publicity.
While trying to cross-verify Kashyap's story with the CCTV footage in the areas, Mumbai Police found several discrepancies.
They have registered a case against him.
The Mumbai Mirror report suggests that the police are also looking at the 'political angle' in the incident.
A senior police officer told MM:
"The fact that after the case was registered against Kashyap, he approached Aam Aadmi Party leader Priti Sharma Menon and stayed at her Chembur home for two days indicates a lot of things. The question is why he approached a political party for legal assistance. Was this a pre-planned agenda?"
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