Violence erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers
Thirty-six people including the key accused have been arrested and a case filed against over 1,500 people in connection with the violence that erupted in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur on Friday over alleged insulting remarks on Prophet Muhammad by a BJP spokesperson, the police said today.
The key accused has been identified as Zafar Hayat, who the police said had told shops to close down through posters and social media posts. He also called a procession, during which the violence broke out.
The arrests were made after police scoured video clips to identify the people involved in the violence that left more than 40 injured, officials said.
Police said that three First Information Reports or FIRs have been registered in the case against unknown persons.
"More people are being identified on the basis of the videos," said Police Commissioner Vijay Singh Meena.
He said action will be taken against the conspirators under the Gangster Act, and their property will be seized.
Heavy security has been deployed in the city to maintain law and order, and avoid any untoward incident.
Violence erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers as members of two groups clashed and threw stones at each other over a call to shut down markets in protest against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her alleged comments against Prophet Mohammed during a recent news debate on the Gyanvapi issue.
Thirteen police personnel and thirty other people from both sides were injured in the clashes, officials said.
"Some young men number 50-100 suddenly stepped out on the streets and started sloganeering. Another group opposed it and it escalated to stone-throwing. Around eight to ten cops were present at the spot then who tried to intervene and controlled the situation to some extent. The control room was informed immediately and senior officials including me reached the spot within 10 minutes," Mr Meena had said yesterday.