The situation in Kanpur turned out to be violent after the Friday prayer yesterday as the shopkeepers were forced to shut down their shops in the popular market area alleged offensive comments on Prophet Muhammad in a television show. Clashes erupted when one group opposed the shutdown call by the other. Stones were pelted, crude bombs were hurled, and police had to resort to lathi-charge and tear gas shelling to disperse the rampaging mob.
Mobs hurled bombs and pelted stones at each other after groups of people tried to force shopkeepers to shut down shutters in the Nai Sadak and Yateemkhana areas of the city after Friday namaz. As per the preliminary reports, it is alleged that Nupur Sharma a BJP spokesperson made insulting remarks on a television debate show. Police reacted swiftly and arrested 18 persons in an intensive crackdown and brought the situation under control. A total of 12 Provincial Armed Constabulary(PAC) companies have been sent to the area to maintain law and order. SP- rank official; Ajay Pal Sharma has also been deployed from Lucknow to monitor the situation.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday booked 500 people for rioting and violence in Kanpur that left 40 injured, officials said, as an uneasy calm prevailed in the affected areas this 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 police resorted to lathi-charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob and prevent further violence. Police commissioner Vijay Singh Meena said the situation is under control now. Police have arrested 18 people under the Gangster Act for their alleged involvement in the violence. Trouble-makers are being identified through video clips and photographs collected from different sources, Police commissioner Vijay Singh Meena. Miscreants will be booked under the Gangster Act, their property will be confiscated and bulldozers will run, he said.
In Maharashtra, two cases have been registered against BJP leader Nupur Sharma — in Thane and in south Mumbai — for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims during a TV debate. She has been booked for ‘promoting enmity, outraging religious feelings, ‘uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person, ‘deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of a class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, and other offenses.