Bulldozers rolled out on the streets in Kanpur after Friday protests over the Prophet controversy.
(Photo: The Quint)

Buildings were demolished in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur and Saharanpur after violence erupted during protests held over BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s remarks against Prophet Muhammed during a TV debate last month.

In Saharanpur, which witnessed violence on Friday, 10 June, the houses of two accused, Muzammil and Abdul Waqir, were also razed with bulldozers by the municipal corporation.

Saharanpur SSP Akash Tomar said that these were illegal constructions and similar actions will be taken against any other illegal properties found. Of those accused of violence, 200 have been identified and 64 have been arrested, he added.

Meanwhile, the Kanpur district administration on Saturday, demolished parts of a building owned by businessman Mohammad Ishtiyaq – a close relative of Hayat Zafar Hashmi, accused of being the ‘key conspirator’ of the violence that erupted in Becon Gunj area in Kapur after Friday prayers on 3 June.

Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) secretary Shatrughan Vaishya while speaking to the media claimed that the demolition has no connection with the Friday incidents calling it a “routine exercise.”

“Several notices were served to the owner of the building. The owner sought approval to use the building for residential purposes but is using it for commercial activities,” Vaishya stated.

Violence erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers on 3 June over attempts to shut shops in protest against derogatory remarks Prophet Muhammed by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate last month.

A week later on 10 June, protests erupted in several parts of the country including multiple places in Uttar Pradesh. These include Hathras, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Moradabad, Ferozabad, and Ambedkarnagar. Protests in places like Kanpur and Prayagraj, however, turned violent.

The UP police, so far, has arrested 227 suspects.

This article firs appeared on thequint.com