Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police on Saturday (4 June) said that the Kanpur violence was pre-planned. Kanpur Commissioner of Police Vijay Singh Meena said 24 arrests have been made so far in the case.
“Some people tried to jeopardise the communal situation in Kanpur yesterday. Police took action and the situation was brought under control. Eighteen were arrested yesterday while six were arrested today. Three FIRs were filed. Thirty-six identified so far,” Meena said.
“No one will be spared. We are also looking into their criminal background. This conspiracy was hatched, it cannot be denied,” he said.
UP Police booked more than 500 people for rioting and violence in Kanpur that left 40 wounded, officials said. Three FIRs (first information reports) over violence and rioting have been lodged.
The violence broke out in Nai Sadak, Pared, Yateemkhana area of Kanpur after Friday namaz (3 June) when some people tried to close down shops by force over alleged ’blasphemous’ remarks made by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson.
At least 40 people, including 20 police personnel, were wounded during the clashes, police said. The rioters clashed with police, who used batons to disperse the mob.
According to police, the situation in the city was under control on Saturday (4 June), but a heavy police force has been deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
UP Additional Director General of Police Prashant Kumar said the accused would be booked under the UP Gangster Act.
What is the UP Gangster Act, 1986?
The Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act was introduced by Chief Minister Vir Bahadur Singh in 1986. The prime motive of the Act was to book 2,500 well-known gangsters in the state at that time and put them behind bars so as to curb organised crime and anti-social activities that disturb the tranquillity of the state.
As per Section 2(b) of the Act, a gang means a group of people who engage in anti-social activities either individually or collectively and want to intentionally hamper public order. A member of a ‘gang’ acting either singly or collectively may be termed as a member of the ‘gang’, provided that they are found to have indulged in any anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Act.
Recently, the Supreme Court opined that a person does not have to be a repeat offender to be prosecuted under the stringent Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act. A first-time offender can also face charges under the special law after being part of a gang.
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