The state of Uttar Pradesh has enhanced vigilance ahead of Friday prayers, which might mark a week after unrest erupted in Kanpur over banned BJP chief Nupur Sharma’s anti-Mohammad comments. The extra vigilance is in response to an Al-Qaeda statement referencing suicide assaults in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat on the same issue.
The order of imposition of Section 144 placed a heavy emphasis on preventing people from doing activities that could cause or promote riots, such as posting religious posters, making anti-communist remarks, picking up stones, bricks, or anything else that could catch fire in public places and be used in riots, and so on.
“Now we’ve identified communal hotspots across the state and given enough power and proper instruments, such as water cannons,” says the governor. ADG (Regulation and Order) Prashant Kumar informed one of the daily news agencies, “Intense meetings are being held with spiritual leaders on both sides, asking them to ship their spiritual preachings in a controlled manner and to aid in keeping peace.”
Before Friday prayers, the Sunni Ulama Council issued an injunction to all Kanpur mosques, urging the preaching of brotherhood.
Over 50 people have been arrested as a result of the violence so far, including three PFI activists.
At the same time, some of the accused’s relatives claimed that their loved ones were innocent. In response, the Kanpur police department formed a four-member team on Thursday, led by joint commissioner Anand Tiwari, to investigate such programmes and remove them if appropriate, ensuring that no innocent people are held responsible. The relocation was made after Kanpur Commissioner Vijay Singh Meena stated that “no blameless may be sent to prison in terms of the violence.”