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Bulldozer Justice in Prayagraj; Alleged Mastermind’s House Razed

In wake of the Nupur Sharma Hate Speech, several states registered protests after the Friday prayers. The situation in minority-dominated pockets in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal has been simmering since with the state administration clamping down, either by way of Sec. 144 or bulldozers razing property belonging to “alleged” rioters and “suspected” conspirators.

Javed Mohammad, leader of the Indian Welfare Party and a leader in the anti-CAA protests, was named a key conspirator by Uttar Pradesh police along with 10 others and was taken into custody from his Karelian residence on Friday. Family members said his wife and daughter were also detained later that day.

Student activist Afreen Fatima has complained that her parents (she is Javed Mohammed’s daughter), and sister have been unjustly abducted and detained by the police. According to a complaint filed by Afreen Fatima with the National Commission for Women, the Allahabad police had arrested the family without any notice or warrant. It may be recalled that Afreen is a JNU student activist and was a vocal forefront during the CAA campaign.

In fact, #AfreenFatima 136 has been trending since Saturday.

On Saturday, a notice was posted on the gate of main accused Mohammad Javed’s home in Atala area, informing residents to vacate the property by 11 am on June 12 so that action can be taken. Uttar Pradesh police, on basis of CCTV footage and reports, have identified Javed as the main conspirator behind the violence that erupted in the city on June 10.

The Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) had served a notice to demolish the house that was “allegedly” built without getting the requisite permissions. The notice cites that the property has illegal structures which were constructed without taking the requisite permits and hence, in violation of several building and planning regulations.

The PDA said Javed had failed to respond to the show-cause notice sent on May 5 and had not vacated the building, as ordered in another notice issued on June 9.

The Atala area was purportedly the epicentre of the demonstrations against the inflammatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad made by now suspended BJP functionaries.

Student activist Afreen Fatima is Javed Mohammed’s daughter

Police allege that Mohammad Javed gave the call for the protests that eventually turned violent. He was arrested and booked under the Gangster Act. Javed “Pump” is a resident of JK Ashiana Colony located in Kareli locality of Prayagraj’s old city area.

“Mastermind Javed Mohd detained. There could be more. Anti-social elements used minor kids to hurl stones at the police and administration. A case has been registered under 29 crucial sections. Action will be taken under Gangster Act and the NSA,” Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Kumar briefed reporters.

Kumar said that some individuals believed to be behind the arson and violence have been identified. “These people also include names at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests of 2020 in Prayagraj. None of the trouble makers or the people behind them would be spared,” he said.

Following the June 10 protest, PDA teams began identification of illegal constructions and encroachments in Atala and nearby areas in an apparent follow-up to warnings issued by police and administrative officials about illegal properties of rioters being razed.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said on Sunday that 304 persons have been arrested till Sunday morning in connection with Friday’s violence. The maximum number of arrests have been in Prayagraj where 91 persons have been held while 71 have been held in Saharanpur.

The Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) had served a notice to demolish the house that was “allegedly” built without getting the requisite permissions. The notice cites that the property has illegal structures which were constructed without taking the requisite permits and hence, in violation of several building and planning regulations. The PDA said Javed had failed to respond to the show-cause notice sent on May 5 and had not vacated the building, as ordered in another notice issued on June 9.

It is significant to note that bulldozers were used in Saharanpur on Saturday. The police reached the residences of two accused – Muzammil and Abdul Waqir along with a team of the local civic body and razed parts of their houses which they claim were illegal constructions.

Also Read: Vadodara: Protests Against Nupur Sharma