The Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 12 more in connection with the Kanpur violence on Tuesday, 7 June, taking the total number of arrests now to 50, an official said.
DCP (East) Pramod Kumar said that around 10 more suspects were detained for questioning, while a 16-year-old boy surrendered at the Colonelganj Police Station after posters with his picture were put up by the police.
The arrested persons, including prime accused Hayat Zafar Hashmi, who was arrested in Lucknow’s Hazratganj on Sunday, were produced before the special remand magistrate court which sent them to judicial custody for 14 days, a senior police official said on Monday.
The Kotwali police lodged an FIR, for "fake and inflammatory content" about the Violence on 3 June, against two Facebook users and three Twitter accounts. This brings the total number of users booked to 13 so far.
Moreover, the police have also begun a probe to investigate the role of Hashmi’s wife, Zara Hayat.
According to officials, Zara Hayat was the administrator of several WhatsApp groups.
The police registered the FIR against the operators of the Facebook accounts - Abu Zaid and Kaushal Patel - and three Twitter handles - "Duggalsahab15", "shivaisrael" and "AkhandBharat,” the DCP added.
Moreover, the district administration sealed a petrol pump after CCTV footage showed people carrying fuel in bottles from the pump before the clashes on Friday, a senior official said.
The official said that the petrol pump’s license has been suspended pending further investigation since the sale of petrol in bottles is prohibited.
Meanwhile, Kanpur DM Neha Sharma was transferred on Tuesday in the latest IAS officer reshuffle in the state. Sharma is to be replaced by IAS Vishak G Iyer, who is currently posted as special secretary to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Kanpur police, on Monday, released as posters with 40 images of people involved in the violence, which were gathered through videos of the incident which were captured on mobile phones and CCTV cameras.
The Kanpur police commissionerate has set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the violence that took place in the city.
The violence broke out in Pared, Nai Sadak, and Yateemkhana areas of the city on Friday, 3 June, when some people tried to force shopkeepers to bring down shutters following Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma's comments against Prophet Muhammad
UP Additional Director-General (ADG) Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, explained how the clash unfolded, "Some Muslim organisations had called for a 'bandh' in protest against Nupur Sharma's remarks."
"After the Friday prayers, some people tried to forcibly shut shops owned by Hindus. This led to a protest followed by a clash. The situation is now under control. We will take strict action against the miscreants involved in the violence."Prashant Kumar, UP Additional Director-General (ADG) Law and Order.
The identities of over 100 more accused have been established, DCP (East) Pramod Kumar said.
The BJP leader made the controversial remark during a Times Now show about the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute on 26 May. Three FIRs have been filed against Sharma for her comments.
She was charged under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace), 505(2) (provoke enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
On Sunday, the BJP had suspended Sharma and expelled Naveen Jindal from party's primary membership, after widespread outrage from middle-eastern countries.
(With inputs from PTI)