Kanpur violence: NSA against 36 Muslim men, Muslims call police action “discriminatory”

Hours after 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,” at least 36 Muslims were booked under the draconian NSA in Kanpur.

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 Muhammed.

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 Mohammed 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.

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.

The Police FIR alleged that Hashmi “incited the people, which led to stone-pelting and clashes between two groups that left more than 30, including several police personnel, injured.”

Hashmi has been detained and taken in for questioning.

“Action will also be taken against MMA Jauhar Fans’ Association. We have already detained several people for questioning. No culprits will be spared, we are monitoring everything,” Joint Police Commissioner Anand Prakash Tiwari told reporters.

The other accused named in the FIR are Ehitsham Kabadi, Zeeshan, Aaqib, Nizam Qureshi, Azizur, Aamir Javed, Imran Kale, Adnan, Imran, Anas, Sajid, Bilal, and Yusuf Mansuri, among others. 

According to sources, the CM also issued directives to the officers to “seize their property”, and “use bulldozers if necessary.”

The Muslim groups and rights activists called the police action “discriminatory.”

Maulana Abdul Kaddus Kaadi, head Qazi of Kanpur, has said to the media that the violence was initiated by the Hindutva mobs and appropriate action should be taken against them.