Lucknow: A day after several parts of Uttar Pradesh saw clashes and protests over former BJP spokespersons’ remarks on Prophet Muhammad, bulldozers reached Prayagraj and Kanpur as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s media advisor posted a tweet with a photograph of a demolition that said, “Remember, after every Friday, comes a Saturday.”
उपद्रवी याद रखें, हर शुक्रवार के बाद एक शनिवार ज़रूर आता है… pic.twitter.com/I8Y1SrPolL
— Mrityunjay Kumar (@MrityunjayUP) June 11, 2022
The house of a relative of the head of a local NGO, who had been booked in connection with the 3 June violence in Kanpur over the controversial remarks, was allegedly razed Saturday. Meanwhile, police arrested a man in Prayagraj who is being probed for his role as a “conspirator” in the Friday violence.
State BJP leader and Deoria MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi tweeted a video of policemen thrashing young men, saying: “Balwayion ko return gift (a return gift to rioters).” It was deleted later.
BJP MP from Unnao Sakshi Maharaj too posted a tweet claiming that “nationalists” were demanding bulldozers wherever “separatists had gone unrestrained”.
क़ानून की धज्जियाँ उड़ाती ख़ाकी और उसे ‘रिटर्न गिफ़्ट’ बताने वाला आपका चुना हुआ विधायक है।
सिर्फ इसलिए कि जिनकी पिटाई हो रही है वो ‘मुस्लिम’ हैं।
बात सही है, फ़्रिंज ही अब मेनस्ट्रीम हैं https://t.co/jmju673qPo
— Sakshi Joshi (@sakshijoshii) June 11, 2022
Also Read: ‘Racist film, take it down’ — Movie on Prophet’s daughter triggers protests in UK
Routine procedure, say Kanpur officials
On Saturday, a team of policemen and officials from the Kanpur administration accompanied bulldozers that allegedly razed the home of businessman Mohammed Ishtiaq. Ishtiaq is believed to be a relative of Hayat Zafar Hashmi, who is head of NGO ‘MMA Jauhar Fans’ Association’, and has been named as a conspirator in the Kanpur violence case.
“The action that has taken place today is in the series of actions taken by the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) against land mafia and illegal constructions. In future too, action will be taken against land mafia and illegal constructions,” KDA secretary Shatrughan Vaishya told reporters.
Asked whether the property had links to Kanpur violence accused, Vaishya said KDA was acting against land mafia and this campaign was part of “normal procedure”.
Questioned specifically about any links between the property and Hayat Zafar Hashmi, he said, “Whether the land mafia has any links or not, we are not concerned with that. We carry out action after due procedure as per the laws and rules of KDA.”
‘Accused deleted chats which called for Bharat bandh’
Bulldozers reached Prayagraj’s Shaukat Ali Road too, where violence had broken out near the Atala intersection Friday. Police also arrested one Javed Mohammed alias ‘Pump’ for his alleged involvement in the riots.
A source told ThePrint that Javed is a member of the Prayagraj unit of a Delhi-based political outfit.
“He is chief of the committee of a kabaristan (graveyard) in the Kala Danda area,” said a police officer who did not wish to be named.
According to Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Kumar, the FIR lodged at Khuldabad police station mentions 70 named and 5,000 unnamed persons.
“The name of an accused by the name of Javed Pump has come to fore as a conspirator so far. Investigation of his mobile phone has revealed that he has deleted chats and call details, but the chats which were recovered revealed that he had given a Bharat bandh call on 10 June and also a call to gather at the Atala chowk, where the incident took place. So, he is being considered as a conspirator,” he told a news channel.
Kumar further said that a possible role played by one of the accused’s daughters in the conspiracy is also being probed.
“The chats recovered in the mobile are being analysed and if she is a part of the conspiracy, action will be taken against her, but there will be no action against any innocent person,” he told the news channel.
The Wire however reported that Javed’s second daughter had written to the National Commission of Women claiming that her mother and sister were picked up by police without notice or warrant.
The UP police have so far arrested 237 persons across the state in connection with violence witnessed Friday. According to police sources, arrests have been made in Firozabad (8), Aligarh (3), Hathras (50), Moradabad (25), Ambedkar Nagar (28), Saharanpur (55) and Prayagraj (68).
ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said in a statement that those involved in the attempt to disturb law and order in some districts have been identified and quick arrests are being made.
“Following legal procedure, compensation for damage caused to public property will be collected from the culprits,” he further said.
This article has been updated to correct the name of accused Javed Mohammed.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)
Also Read: Day after saying Doval promised tough action on anti-Prophet remarks, Iran pulls down statement