Prayagraj Protests: 'Being Framed,' Say Anti-CAA Protesters as Police Name Them 'Key Conspirators'

Welfare party leader Javed Mohammad, his wife and daughter were taken into custody by police late last night. As many as 40 people have been arrested from Prayagraj where police has also threatened bulldozer action.

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New Delhi: As protests against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders’ remarks on Prophet Mohammed turned violent in several parts of the country on June 10, in Uttar Pradesh police made more than 100 arrests.

UP Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar has said that 227 people have been arrested in the state for Friday’s violence. This includes 68 in Prayagraj, 50 in Hathras, 48 in Saharanpur, 28 in Ambedkarnagar, 25 in Moradabad, and eight in Firozabad.

In Prayagraj (formerly called Allahabad), several cases were filed in two police stations, Khuldabad and Kareli. One case has been registered against 36 identified and 1,000 unknown people.

Police teams have reportedly raided locations to nab 10 of the “main accused.” 

The list of accused persons issued by the police includes names of people who had been prominent in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests of 2019. Others are leaders of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, student activists and Left party workers.

Among those named are Imam Ali Ahmed of the Atala Badi Masjid, AIMIM district president Shah Alam and leader Zeeshan Rahmani, an activist who was active in the anti-CAA protests, Sara Ahmed, and Left leaders Dr. Ashish Mittal and Ali Ahmad.

Prayagraj ADG Prem Prakash, in a statement to the press mentioned these names, and said that many others have been identified as having been behind this “well-planned” violence. 

Samajwadi Party leaders have also reportedly been named by the police. 

In a statement, the ADG also said that “action will be taken” against those responsible under the Gunda Act and National Security Act. “Along with this, bulldozers will also be run in the Atala area after marking illegal constructions,” he said.

Welfare Party leader Javed Mohammad, his wife Parveen and daughter Sumaiya were also taken into custody from their residence. Mohammad’s other daughter and activist Afreen Fatima has written a letter to the National Commission for Women seeking urgent intervention and claiming that her family members were detained without warrant. 

Her letter states, “We are writing with urgent concern for the safety of my father Javed Mohd, mother Parveen Fatima and sister Sumaiya Fatima who were picked up by the Allahabad police yesterday, without any notice or warrant, and whose whereabouts we are unable to find out for the last several hours,”

Speaking to The Wire, Afreen said that on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, more police officers came to Afreen’s home and asked her family members to accompany cops to the police station without specifying any reason. When Afreen’s family refused to go, police officers asked them to vacate the house and lock it.

She added that two days prior to the violence a case was filed against her father under Section 107 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code.

She said, “Essentially, it meant that if anything was to happen in the city, my father would be held responsible for abetting it.”

The Wire reached out to the station in-charge of both Kareli and Khuldabad police stations, which are handling the cases. Both station in-charges said that they could not divulge information on Javed Mohammad. 

‘Anti-CAA faces targeted’

Speaking to The Wire, activist Sara Ahmad stated that she was being framed as the mastermind of a protest gathering that she had been unaware of in the first place.

“When I returned home from work, I started receiving calls from people who informed me that I had been named as a key conspirator in the case. Several news channels ran stories with my name. We are being targeted for having been on the frontline of the anti-CAA and NRC protests. We are being framed, I have no connections with the protest,” she added.

Activist Umar Khalid, taking to Facebook has also stated that he was not even in town on the day when the violence transpired but has allegedly been targeted by police.