Protests against anti-Islam remarks: Arrest count rises to 415 in UP

A total of 415 persons have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh till Sunday for the protests over derogatory remarks made by two Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons about the prophet Muhammad.

On 3 June, Muslims took to streets of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh to protest Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal who made the anti-Islam remarks. On 10 June, in Uttar Pradesh, massive protests of Muslims broke out in Saharanpur, Moradabad and Allahabad and other cities.

By June 12, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested 304 persons from eight districts, PTI reported.

On Sunday, Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Prashant Kumar said 415 accused persons have been arrested.

At least 20 first information reports have been filed so far in 10 districts in connection with the protests on June 3 and June 10.

“Three FIRs each have been registered in Kanpur Police Commissionerate and Saharanpur, seven in Prayagraj and one each in Firozabad, Aligarh, Hathras, Moradabad, Ambedkarnagar, Kheri and Jalaun,” Kumar said to PTI.

Ninety-seven persons have been arrested in Allahabad, 85 in Saharanpur, 58 in Kanpur, 41 in Ambedkarnagar, 40 in Moradabad, 35 in Hathras, 20 in Firozabad, eight in Kheri, six in Aligarh and five in Jalaun.

Opposition leaders, Muslim groups and rights bodies accused Uttar Pradesh government of increasingly misusing provisions of law to illegally demolish houses and properties of Muslim individuals and families in areas that witnessed protests.

Among those arrested is Javed Mohammed, a prominent Muslim activist in the city whose house was demolished by the Prayagraj Development Authority as its construction “violated several norms.”

Human rights defenders and activists that speak up against discriminatory policies and laws against Muslims, including the CAA, face criminalisation, arbitrary detention and stigmatisation, said the critics.