Row over remarks on the prophet: Will recover cost of damage to properties from accused, says govt

The State government has decided to recover damages for the destruction caused to public and government property from the accused booked for their alleged involvement in the violence that took place in Kanpur and Prayagraj earlier this month amid protests over derogatory remarks on the Prophet by a former BJP spokesperson.

Several government and private properties were allegedly damaged in the violence.

The incidents occurred amid several protests over derogatory remarks on the Prophet by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

A team of the district administration and police have started collecting details of the damage from different government departments. Letters have been sent to departments asking to submit details of their losses. Announcements have been made to the public asking to come forward and inform about the losses incurred. The state government would made recovery under a new law – The Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Act, 2020.

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“Recovery will be made from people involved in violence,” said Additional Director General, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar.

Sources said a few government departments, including the police and Nagar Nigam, have submitted details of losses to the Prayagraj district administration and their total estimate is around Rs 40 lakh. “Some departments are yet to submit the details of their losses,” said Prayagraj District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Khatri.

The Kanpur police are calculating the losses occurred during the violence. “Notices were issued to all the departments concerned. I have to check the records about who are yet to submit reports,” said Kanpur Joint Commissioner Anand Prakash Tiwari.

The team of district administration and police have decided to move a Tribunal requesting that recovery notices be issued to the accused allegedly involved in the damage.

On June 3, clashes took place in several parts of Kanpur district after some minority groups which had called for a ‘bandh’ allegedly tried to force traders to close their shops. The two groups entered into a scuffle and pelted stones at each other.

The situation was brought under control after a police team arrived and used force to disperse the crowd. Several persons, including policemen, were injured in the clash.

The Kanpur police have arrested 57 persons till date. The police have also released photographs of 40 suspects.

The clashes in Prayagraj took place when people protesting over comments made by the former BJP spokesperson attacked police teams at Kareli and Khuldabad areas on June 10. Protesters also damaged vehicles and pelted stones.

The Prayagraj police have arrested 92 persons till date. They have also released posters of 59 suspects and sought information about them from the public.

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