AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over demolition of the house of the main accused in Prayagraj violence, asserting that he was behaving like the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
"The UP Chief Minister has become the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court. He'll convict anyone & demolish their houses?," Mr Owaisi asked while addressing a rally in Gujarat's Kutch.
The Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) on Sunday demolished the house of Javed Mohammed, alias Pump, the alleged mastermind of the June 10 violence in Prayagraj, amid heavy police deployment.
The accused is a leader of the Welfare Party of India and the father of activist Afreen Fatima. Ms Fatima was part of the protests against the centre's controversial Citizenship Law. The police have said her role in this week's violence is being probed as well.
Police said the accused had illegal weapons and objectionable posters at his home. The search was carried out at his home on Sunday morning before the demolition.
"We have found a 12 bore illegal pistol and a 315 bore pistol and cartridges and some documents that show objectionable comments against the honourable court," said Ajay Kumar, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj.
Mr Mohammed has been arrested in connection with the violence and is being interrogated, officials said.
The demolition came hours after a notice was stuck outside his house, claiming illegal construction in the ground and first floors. The notice also claimed that he had failed to reply to a demolition order sent to him in May.
According to the notice, Mr Mohammed was asked to get the illegal construction razed by June 9, failing which a final notice was sent to him to vacate the house by 11 am on June 12.
However, lawyers for the politician denied the claims in a letter to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. Alleging that the authorities had not followed rules and that the demolition was illegal, they said Mr Mohammed was not the owner of the house that was demolished.
The house was in the name of his wife, who had not received any notice of illegal construction, the lawyers said.
Massive protests were held in parts of Uttar Pradesh after Friday prayers over the controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
On Saturday, municipal teams, accompanied by police, razed down the homes of two of the violence accused in Saharanpur, which they claim were illegal constructions.
Demolitions were also carried in Kanpur, where violent clashes and stone-throwing took place on June 3 over the same issue.
The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested over 300 people from various districts in the state in connection with the protests and violence, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warning of "strictest" action against those attempting to vitiate the atmosphere.