Thirteen police cases have been lodged across Uttar Pradesh over Friday’s violence and 306 people have been arrested, senior state police officer Prashant Kumar told NDTV today. Those involved in arson and damage to public and private property will also have to pay a fine under the relevant law, he said.
“All the action the police is taking is on basis of photographs and video footage that are available and senior officers are monitoring the arrests,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview. “It has been made very clear by the government that no innocent person should be arrested and no guilty person should be spared,” he added.
Violence broke out in six districts of Uttar Pradesh after Friday prayers over the recent remarks on Prophet Muhammad by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma who has since been suspended. Thirteen policemen were injured In the violence and there was largescale destruction of public and private property.
With Chief Minister Yogi Adidyanath warning of “strictest” action, 91 people were arrested in Prayagraj, 71 in Saharanpur and 51 in Hathras. In two cities — Prayagraj and Saharanpur — bulldozers were out, demolishing the homes of several of the accused.
Mr Kumar today denied any knowledge about the bulldozer action, saying it was a matter for development authorities and the police were present only to maintain law and order.
Asked if the UP Recovery of Damages to Private ad Public property will be invoked in cases of arson and public and property destruction, he answered in the affirmative.
“We have already made it very clear from Day One and we have already issued notices also… For this case and the June 3 violence in Kanpur,” Mr Kumar said.
Tribunals have already been formed in three places – Prayagraj, Lucknow and Meerut, he added.
In Kanpur, where violence first broke out over the Prophet row, 36 people including the key accused were arrested. Police cases were filed against 1,500 people.