Prophet Row | 'May Regroup If At One Place': UP DG Jail on Transfer of Accused

'We thought it would be prudent to transfer them to various jails,' said Anand Kumar, DG, Jail.

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At least 10 to 15 prisoners, arrested in connection to the violent protests against remarks on Prophet Muhammad and lodged in Kanpur jail and Prayagraj's Naini Central jail were transferred out to different jails in administrative action by the prison department in the state.

Among them is Javed Mohammad, accused of being one of the "masterminds" of the violence in Prayagraj on 10 June. His house was bulldozed by the local administration on 12 June.

"If they all live in the same place, they can regroup and create problems. We didn't want that. On the basis of the perception and the reports we had, we thought it would be prudent to transfer them to various jails," Anand Kumar, director general, Prison Reforms and Jail Administrations said.

'High-handedness of Jail Officials Is Worrying Us': Javed's Family

In a note by Javed's wife Parveen Fatima, shared by their daughter Afreen Fatima on Twitter, it had been alleged that Prayagraj's Naini Central jail authorities have denied Javed's presence in the jail.

"The family and the lawyers have been trying to locate him since early morning but as of now the officials of Allahabad district and Naini central jail have failed to assure us about my husband's whereabouts," an excerpt in the note read.

Replying to the distress tweet by Fatima, Prayagraj police replied: "It is to inform that Javed Mohammad, under custody in Naini Jail, has been transferred to district prison in Deoria on administrative grounds on Sunday, 19 June 2022."

'Not Informed, Learnt From Media Reports'

DG Jail, Kumar, said there is no rule in the prison manual to inform families of the inmates before such transfers but said the families are "informally alerted about it," he said.

Speaking to The Quint, Javed's lawyer KK Rai said neither Javed's family nor the lawyer was informed about the transfer.

"We learnt from media reports that Javed has been transferred to Deoria jail," Rai said.

A total of 423 people have been arrested following violent protests on 3 June and a week later on 10 June against BJP leader Nupur Sharma's remark on Prophet Mohammad. As many as 103 suspects were arrested in Prayagraj followed by 85 in Saharanpur and 58 in Kanpur.

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