Authorities raze property of close aide of main accused in Kanpur violence

Police also arrested one Nizam Qureshi, who officials claim is another mastermind of the June 3 violence.

Published: 11th June 2022 10:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2022 10:28 PM   |  A+A-

A bulldozer demolishes the construction of the Kanpur violence chief accused Hayat Zafar Hashmi's aide, on Saturday. (Photo | ANI)


KANPUR: A week after the city witnessed chaotic protests marred by stone pelting, the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) on Saturday demolished a multi-storey building allegedly owned by a close aide of the main accused in the incident, police said.

Police also arrested one Nizam Qureshi, who officials claim is another mastermind of the June 3 violence.

Qureshi was among the 36 accused whose names were mentioned in the FIR lodged soon after the violence, a police official said. Kanpur's Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Anand Prakash Tiwari confirmed the arrest.

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"Nizam Qureshi has been arrested from Kanpur in connection with the June 3 incident," the officer said, adding that the accused had gone underground since the violence took place.

According to police sources, Qureshi shared incendiary messages on social media platforms and provoked people to indulge in stone pelting. The investigators are trying to recover information related to the violence from Qureshi's phone.

"Qureshi was one of the key conspirators of the Kanpur violence. Messages from his mobile phones were sent to over half-a-dozen other mobile phones that are now being tracked," said a senior official, requesting anonymity.

Some crucial information pertaining to the violence was also found from a social media group of which the prime accused in the violence, Zafar Hayat Hashmi, was a member, the officer said.

Qureshi is the head of Jamiatul Qureshi, an unofficial body of the Qureshi community in Kanpur. He is a former Samajwadi Party (SP) district secretary.

District SP chief Imran told PTI that Qureshi was expelled from the party on May 22 for anti-party activities and not taking interest in the party's programmes.

Tiwari said the KDA has demolished a four-storey residential building owned by Mohammad Ishtiyaq, who is said to be a close aide of Hashmi.

There are reasons to believe that investments in the construction of the building were made by Hashmi, the officer said, adding that the demolition was carried out in accordance with the relevant norms and regulations.

Ishtiyaq passed away a couple of years ago, he said.  The building was located at Swaroopnagar and was built around three years ago, police said.

Authorities brought down some parts of the ground floor and the first floor of the building amid heavy police deployment. The building was vacant at the time of the demolition, police said.

According to police, Ishtiyaq, who ran a tailoring shop till a few years ago, was subsequently engaged in real estate business. Hashim was a major investor in the demolished building, they said.

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On Friday, a court here remanded Hashmi, Jawed Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Rahil and Sufiyan in police custody for three days. "The accused were taken into police custody on Saturday morning and will remain in custody till Tuesday morning," Tiwari said.

Violence broke out in Kanpur on June 3 after some people gathered demanding strict action against former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her comments on Prophet Mohammad.

Sharma's remarks riled many Arab countries and stoked protests in several parts of the country. She has since been suspended by the saffron party. At least 40 people, including some police personnel, were injured in the Kanpur violence. The rioters hurled petrol bombs and damaged public properties, including shops and vehicles.


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