Kanpur Violence News: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday arrested nine more people in connection with the Kanpur violence, taking the number of total arrests to 38.
According to police, the arrested persons include prime accused Hayat Zafar Hashmi. Hashmi is the chief of Maulana Mohammed Ali (MMA) Jauhar Fans Association which is a local social group. Hashmi was arrested on Saturday along with three others from the Hazratganj area of Lucknow.
Police said that all the arrested accused will be booked under the stringent National Security Act and the Gangster Act, adding that an application will be moved in the court today seeking their judicial custody for 14 days.
Besides, police said that the identities of over 100 more accused have been established and search operations are underway to nab them.
According to police, the violence broke out in Pared, Nai Sadak and Yateemkhana areas of Kanpur on Friday when some people tried to force shopkeepers to down shutters over allegedly insulting remarks made by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate.
Kanpur Commissioner of Police Vijay Singh Meena informed that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been set up under a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) level officer to probe the incident. The SIT will be headed by DCP South Sanjeev Tyagi who will be assisted by Additional DCP (West) Brajesh Srivastava, ACP (Anwarganj) Akmal Khan, ACP (Colonelganj) Tirpurari Pandey, along with an inspector and two sub-inspectors.
Earlier on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Naveen Arora had visited Kanpur and interacted with the police teams probing the case and trying to identify those behind the communal tension.
PFI link in Kanpur violence
Meena said that the possible role of groups like the Popular Front of India (PFI) and others is being looked into by the police. Besides, teams are also looking into lapses on the part of the force in preventing the violence.
"We are probing the incident from various angles and looking into the involvement of groups like PFI and others. We are also looking into the aspect of foreign funding. Anyone who is found guilty will not be spared," Meena said.
The police have sought help of experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory to recover data from the mobile phones seized from the arrested accused. They are scanning over 200 videos clips of the incident to identify those involved in stone pelting.
Police also claimed to have accessed WhatsApp chats of Hashmi. The police found 114 WhatsApp groups on Hashmi's phone in which messages regarding the closure of shops in Kanpur on June 3 were discussed.
Meanwhile, multiple FIRs have been lodged under various IPC sections, including 147 (punishment for rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 336 (act endangering life), 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
The first FIR has been registered on a complaint by Beckonganj Station House Officer Nawab Ahmad against nearly 500 people for rioting with deadly weapons. The rioters used deadly weapons, hurled petrol bombs and took to the streets, triggering panic in the area, the FIR stated. The second FIR was lodged on a complaint by Sub-Inspector Asif Raza. Twenty people have been named in the FIR and 350 unidentified people have been booked.
The third FIR was registered on a complaint by Mukesh, a resident of Chandeshwar Hata, who alleged that hundreds of Muslims, carrying sticks, iron roads and deadly weapons attacked the members of the other community with an intent to kill them. It mentions "a crowd of thousands of unidentified persons" as accused.
According to police data, at least 40 people, including 20 police personnel, were injured during the clashes.