The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Kanpur violence cases on Wednesday arrested Mukhtar Baba alias Baba Biryani, who runs a chain of restaurants, officials said here. Joint CP, Law and Order, Anand Prakash Tiwari said that Mukhtar Baba has been named in three cases of rioting and violence with deadly weapons at Beconganj police station.
Violence erupted in Kanpur on June 3 following Friday prayers over remarks against Prophet Mohammad by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate. Tiwari said there are many more suspects on the radar of the SIT who may be arrested and interrogated soon.
The SIT on Tuesday also arrested a youth named Mohammad Faizan, whose photographs were uploaded on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, following which he was arrested. The JCP said that with the fresh arrests, the number of people arrested in the Kanpur violence incident has reached 59.
Mukhtar’s arrest follows the statement of the main accused in the incident, Zafar Hayat Hashmi, who is currently in jail. Tiwari said Hashmi has admitted that his organization was funded by builders, businessmen and political figures including Mukhtar alias Baba Biryani and Haji Vasi – a renowned builder, and many others.
Tiwari said the SIT had called Mukhtar for questioning and recorded his statement regarding the alleged funding to Hashmi, who is also the head of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Fans Association. The SIT interrogated Mukhtar for hours at the Colonelganj police station before producing him before the Metropolitan Magistrate-VI Court, from where he was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
A senior official associated with the SIT probe, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while on police remand, Hashmi tried his best to protect his sympathizers and mislead the probe, but later broke down and confessed to being involved in mob mobilisation. Did it Mukhtar Baba has a chain of restaurants in many places including Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad and Bareilly.
The JCP said that the SIT is interrogating several suspects every day to probe their role directly or indirectly in the Kanpur violence.
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