FIR Filed Against 8 People for Alleged 'Inflammatory' Tweets on Kanpur Violence

Four FIRs have been lodged and 38 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence, the police said.

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A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against eight persons on Monday, 6 June, for their alleged inflammatory tweets in connection with violence in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur following Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma's remarks against Prophet Muhammad.

One of the accused is Shams Tabrez Qasmi, the editor of news outlet Millat Times, who had tweeted videos of the clashes in Kanpur. Taking to Twitter, Qasmi had called the allegations against him "baseless."

The Press Club of India also took to Twitter in support of the journalist, and demanded the FIR against him be withdrawn.

"The Press Club of India is concerned and dismayed over an FIR filed against Shams Tabrez Qasmi, editor of Millat Times by the UP Police over a tweet. We demand withdrawal of FIR against the journalist."


The FIR was filed in Kanpur's Kotwali Police Station under Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

"Including this FIR, a total of four FIRs have been lodged in connection with the violence in Kanpur, and 38 people have been arrested. The social media posts written by the accused included inciteful comments. We are investigating more posts regarding the incident, and will take action accordingly," said Kanpur Joint Commissioner of Police, Anand Kulkarni.

The Incident

The Kanpur police commissionerate has set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the violence that took place in the city.

The violence had broken out in Pared, Nai Sadak, and Yateemkhana areas of Kanpur on 3 June when some people tried to force shopkeepers to bring down shutters to protest against Sharma’s derogatory remarks.

The identities of over 100 more accused have been established, DCP (East) Pramod Kumar said.

On 5 June, the BJP suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Jindal from party's primary membership, after widespread outrage from middle-eastern countries over Sharma's comments.

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