Prophet Row: Violence Accused Owe Over ₹1 Cr in Damages, Claims Prayagraj Police

Prayagraj police has sent an estimate of over Rs 1 crore in damages to the claims tribunal for recovery.

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Prayagraj police has sent an estimate of over Rs 1 crore in damages to the claims tribunal for recovery. These damages account for the loss of public property during violence in the city on 10 June during protests against inflammatory remarks by former Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma.

"The evaluation includes the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) truck that was burnt, several CCTV cameras that were destroyed, three motorcycles which were burnt and a day's salary of PAC personnel who were deployed in the aftermath of the violence. The loss is evaluated and sent to claim tribunal which will issue recovery notices to the accused," Ajay Kumar, Prayagraj senior superintendent of police, told The Quint.


Earlier this year, while hearing a plea seeking quashing of the recovery notices issued by the Uttar Pradesh administration to recover the damage caused to public properties in connection with protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the state in 2019, the Supreme Court had asked the UP government to withdraw the notice, or it would quash the proceedings as it in violation of the laws laid by it.

The Uttar Pradesh government complied and informed the apex court that 274 recovery notices issued to anti-CAA protesters for loss of public and private property had been withdrawn.

The Supreme Court, however, granted liberty to the UP government to proceed against alleged anti-CAA protesters under the new law – Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act which was notified in 2020. This law empowers the state government to set up tribunals which will decide claims for damage to property. The tribunal will be headed by a retired judge.


More Demolitions?

Prayagraj Development Authority has issued a notice for the demolition of the house of Mohammad Shah Alam, district chief of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Alam is accused of violence in the city and is currently on the run. The notice was sent in the name of Alam's brother Syed Maqsood Ahmad and the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA), citing the construction to be illegal, has sought a reply on the demolition notice by 29 June.

Earlier this month, house of Javed Mohammad, claimed to be the main conspirator in the Prayagraj violence, was demolished.

The house was in the name of his wife Parveen Fatima, who has now moved the Allahabad High Court demanding reconstruction of the house and government accommodation till their house is rebuilt.

Prayagraj police have arrested 105 people in connection to the violence.

The data of the arrested accused is being shared with the PDA, which has been conducting a survey of houses and other buildings in the name of these accused.

"We have just been sharing information on the arrested accused with the PDA. They have been taking action based on their discretion and judgement. We don't interfere in their work," Prayagraj SSP Ajay Kumar said.

At least 424 people have been arrested in connection to violence in Kanpur on 3 June and in other districts, including Prayagraj, on 10 June against the inflammatory statement by former BJP leader Nupur Sharma. Post violence, 20 FIRs have been registered in 10 UP districts.

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