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New Delhi: Violence broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur on the evening of Friday, June 3, leaving at least six persons injured, as protestors from the Muslim community apparently clashed with the police.
According to news agency PTI, the Uttar Pradesh Police Saturday booked 500 people for rioting adding that “an uneasy calm” prevailed in the affected areas on Saturday morning.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and order) Anand Prakash Tiwari said 18 people have been arrested so far over the Friday incident, and some others are detained for questioning.
“The area is peaceful and we are maintaining a round-the-clock vigil,” he said, adding some suspects were detained overnight by different police teams.
Three FIRs over rioting and violence have been lodged against over 500 people, Tiwari said.
The violence broke out in Pared, Nai Sadak and Yateemkhana areas of the city after Friday namaz, PTI said, when “some people tried to force shopkeepers to down shutters over allegedly insulting remarks made by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate recently.
Those who allegedly forced traders to shut shops clashed with police officers, who used batons to disperse the mob.
At least 40 people including 20 police personnel were injured during the clashes, police said on Saturday.
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, some Muslims had closed their shops and taken out a procession in response to an alleged insult to Prophet Mohammad. Hundreds of protestors had taken to the streets Kanpur’s Becon Gunj.
Violence, massive stone pelting in UP’s Kanpur. This happening on the day when top investors of the country are attending ground breaking ceremony in UP to explore investment opportunities. pic.twitter.com/fK0qu0lKPA
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) June 3, 2022
After her comments, Sharma was booked by the Maharashtra police on May 30 and then by the Hyderabad police the next day, on the basis of a complaint by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Awasuddin Owaisi.
According to reports, the situation was initially brought under control but soon flared up again, with two shots reportedly being fired and the police calling for reinforcements thereafter.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar has warned that those involved will be booked under the stringent Gangsters Act and their properties seized or demolished.
Note: This is a developing story and will be updated when more details are available.