UP police arrests 237 for Friday violence; CM Yogi gives stern warning; media advisor posts caustic one
Mrityunjay Kumar, the media advisor to the chief minister, in a tweet in Hindi said, "Unruly elements remember, every Friday is followed by a Saturday"
Uttar Pradesh police arrested 237 people from various districts in the state in connection with Friday's violence during protests against the controversial remarks of now-sacked BJP functionaries on Prophet Mohammad, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warning of "strictest" action against those attempting to vitiate the atmosphere.
In Saharanpur and Prayagraj, police officials said action will be taken against those arrested under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).
Among those arrested, 68 were held in Prayagraj and 50 in Hathras, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said in a statement on Saturday.
He said 55 people were arrested in Saharanpur, 28 in Ambedkarnagar, 25 in Moradabad, eight in Firozabad, three is Aligarh.
UP Chief Minister Adityanath, who has often spoken of how under his rule the state has been rid of frequent riots, issued a stern warning.
"Strictest action will be taken against the anti-social elements involved in the chaotic efforts to spoil the atmosphere in various cities in the past few days," he said while issuing directives to officials.
"There is no place for such anti-social people in a civilised society. No innocent should be harassed, but not a single guilty should be spared," he said.
Mrityunjay Kumar, the media advisor to the chief minister, in a tweet in Hindi said, "Unruly elements remember, every Friday is followed by a Saturday" and posted a photo of a bulldozer demolishing a building.
Under Chief Minister Adityanath, the state administration has been cracking down on criminals and riot accused, seizing or razing their properties. His critics have often accused him of adopting strong-arm tactics.
Saharanpur's Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Tomar said, "Arrests have been made in connection with Friday's violence. Action will be taken against the arrested people under the National Security Act."
In Prayagraj, police have arrested 68 persons including the mastermind of stone-pelting Javed Ahmad alias Pump, and he is being interrogated, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar said.
Police officials in the district also said that NSA will be imposed on all the persons, who have been arrested.
The SSP also informed that cases have been registered against 70 named persons and 5,000 others at Khuldabad and Kareli police stations.
He said that police are using CCTV footage to identify the accused.
Action will be taken against them under the NSA and Gangster Act, he said.
On Friday, people pelted stones at police personnel in Prayagraj and Saharanpur during their protests after Friday prayers in mosques.
At least four other cities witnessed similar scenes during the marches that were carried out to protest against the controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad made by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
In Prayagraj, the mob set on fire a few motorcycles and carts and also attempted to set ablaze a police vehicle. Police used tear gas and lathis to disperse the protesters and restored peace, police said. One police personnel was injured, they said.
Nupur Sharma was suspended by her party as several Islamic nations denounced her comments on the Prophet during a TV debate.
In Saharanpur, protesters shouted slogans against Sharma and demanded the death sentence for her.
There were protests in Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur and Lucknow.