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."
Social media videos showed residents pelting stones at each other.
3 FIRs Registered
The police have registered three FIRs, two by the authorities and one on behalf of an injured person, police sources told The Quint. The FIRs name at least 40 people, while 1,000 accused who currently remain unidentified have been booked.
The ADG added that the government has taken the situation seriously.
"Additional police forces sent. Hooligans being identified, 18 arrested so far. We have video footage, we'll take action. Action under Gangster Act will be taken against conspirators and their property will be either seized or demolished," Kumar added.
Commissioner of Police Vijay Meena had earlier informed that the police lathicharged hundreds of people that took to the streets to protest and 16 people were taken into custody, Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, Kanpur District Magistrate Neha Sharma said that the situation was brought under control and that further investigation to nab the miscreants is on. The injured were rushed to the hospital, she added.
While appealing for peace, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) said such an incident taking place when the country's president, prime minister and UP chief minister are in town is shameful for the state and those in charge of its law and order.
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.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times and NDTV.)