UP Police victimizing Muslims in Kanpur for protesting against BJP leader’s derogatory remarks against Holy Prophet (PBUH)

Lucknow, June 08 (KMS): Following the Muslims in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur accused the city police of arbitrary arrests and intimidation of Muslims in connection with the violence over protests against derogatory comments on prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the police have released the pictures of 40 Muslims terming them “rioters.”

The city witnessed violence on Friday after a Hindu mob attacked a protest led by Muslims against the derogatory comments of BJP leader Nupur Sharma on the prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“All the 40 men are from Muslim community,” a local activist told media.

Police said they have gathered images of the persons through video clips, cameras and CCTV footage. The police have announced that the identities of people who share any information about these 40 men will be protected.

The police told the reporters that they have been inundated with phone calls since the photos were made public. They have received information about four of the 40 suspects and two have been arrested. The two are brothers, Indian media quoted police as saying.

The Uttar Pradesh Police have decided to put up hoardings of these men at prominent places. “25 hoardings with photographs of about 20 key accused, who allegedly took part in the June 3 violence, will be put up at prominent places in and around the affected areas and neighbouring pockets,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Pramod Kumar, told the media.

On Friday, a Muslim organisation called to shut down shops at the Parade Market – one of the biggest wholesale markets in the city – over the comments made by Sharma about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a televised debate. The clashes began when the Hindu groups started hurling stones at protesting Muslims. Videos showed the Hindu mob attacking Muslims in the presence of cops.

Following the violence, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued directives to UP Director General of Police (DGP) to invoke Gangster Act and National Security Act (NSA) against the “trouble makers”. Unfortunately, rather than punishing the extremist Hindus involved in the attacks on Muslims, the authorities booked at least 36 Muslims under the draconian NSA. The 36 names include Hayat Zafar Hashmi, who is the national president of the Maulana Muhammad Jauhar Ali Fans Association and a local Muslim activist in the city.

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