Updated: June 10, 2022 8:35:18 pm
As many as 109 people were arrested from various districts of Uttar Pradesh hours after a violence broke out in Prayagraj after Friday prayers and protests were held in at least three districts – Moradabad, Saharanpur and Ferozabad – over remarks made by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma about Prophet Mohammad.
According to reports, 38 arrests were made in Saharanpur, 15 in Prayagraj, 24 in Hathras, seven in Moradabad, two in Ferozabad and 23 in Ambedkarnagar.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Friday evening, UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said, “One RAF jawan was hit with a brick. The stone pelting happened in two phases for short durations. In Saharanpur, Firozabad and Moradabad but they were controlled in a short while and people were sent back home. No violence has taken place in these districts.”
In a statement, Prayagraj SSP Ajay Kumar said, “Under the Khuldabad police station, namaz had been completed peacefully. Everyone had returned home. It was 2 pm. Some youngsters then came into lanes. We tried to make them understand. Some of them threw stones and bricks. For a while, we tried to make them understand in presence of several officials, including the DM. Even after trying make them understand, they didn’t listen. There were many minors among them. We used light force to disperse them. They returned home. Even after that because this is a majority area of a community, people kept coming in lanes and raising slogans. We used loudspeakers to make them understand. Our force was very patient. Some minor injuries have been sustained by the force. The situation is under control, but we are keeping a close watch.”
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“There is a possibility that people from lanes may come and start throwing stones. So, we are keeping a watch. The Rapid Action Force and four companies of PAC have been deployed. More force is going to come here from other districts. One rickshaw’s tire was set on fire, but it was doused. There was an attempt to set on fire a PAC vehicle, but fire tender vehicle reached the spot and controlled it. Further action will be taken as per investigation,” said the SSP.
Talking to the media, Saharanpur District Magistrate Akhilesh Singh said, “At all places in Saharanpur, prayers passed off peacefully. At Jama Masjid (Saharanpur city), some people left and started raising slogans. They were spoken to and dispersed. Now, the situation is completely under control. There is no law-and-order situation here. Those who have tried to disturb peace, they were given notice in advance. We had peace committee meetings with religious leaders. We had appealed to them. But despite that, if people have tried to take the law and order situation into their own hands, we will take strict action.”
In a tweet, Moradabad police said, “Namaz has been completed peacefully in Moradabad. Some children shouted slogans outside Jama Masjid, who have been spoken to and sent home. There is no law-and-order situation.”
Firozabad police asked people to not pay heed to “rumours” and wrote on Twitter, “There is a peaceful situation in the district. At some places, people who had gathered were sent home after speaking to them. Please don’t pay heed to rumours.”
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