On June 7, four days after Islamists went on a rampage on the streets of Kanpur over remarks on Prophet Muhammad, a teenager surrendered at the Colonelganj police station after coming across posters that police had made viral about rioters responsible for wreaking havoc in the city.
Violence enveloped the city of Kanpur on Friday, June 3, after hundreds of Islamists took to the streets and began pelting stones after the Friday Namaz. The rioters clashed with the police and locals, who refused to heed their call for ‘bandh’ over remarks made by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad.
A day after violence erupted in Kanpur, the Uttar Pradesh police launched an investigation to identify the culprits responsible for it. The police scanned the CCTV footage available and put up posters of miscreants accountable for plunging the city into chaos and disorder. Police said 40 people had played an active role in the violent protests that left several injured.
Among the jihadists who had taken to violence on the streets of Kanpur was a 16-year-old boy who surrendered after police made his pictures viral. According to the police, the minor was one of the accused responsible for the violent riots that swept Kanpur earlier this month.
Far-left media organisation Scroll tries to save 16-year-old Kanpur violence accused on a technicality
But for the far-left media organisation Scroll, which remains perenially occupied in the service of defending Islamists, the arrest of a teenager Muslim accused of participating in and perpetuating riots was yet another opportunity to cast aspersions on the UP Police.
In an article titled ‘Collateral of Nupur Sharma’s remarks: Muslim family allege minor boy beaten by the police in Kanpur’, Scroll insinuated that the teenage boy who surrendered before police for his role in the Kanpur riots may have been a victim of the UP police’s clampdown against the rioters.
The police said the Muslim boy was one of the many rioters captured in photos throwing stones after Friday prayers at the Yakeem Khana mosque. He is slapped with ten offences, including rioting, criminal intimidation and an attempt to murder, which is regarded as a “heinous offence”.
The accused, who is 16 years old as per police records, could be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which allows individuals between 16 and 18 to be tried as adults if they are accused of committing “heinous offences”.
But the prospect of a Muslim teenager being tried under the Juvenile Justice Act does not seem to have sat well with Scroll, which leaned on the statements made by the accused’s family to undermine his culpability. In what appeared as an attempt to avoid the trial under the Juvenile Justice Act, the article quoted the accused’s family and lawyer conveniently claiming that the boy is 15-year-old.
Furthermore, the article quoted the family to shift the blame for the violent protests on the streets of Kanpur on the BJP and Nupur Sharma. The accused’s family blamed the BJP for not taking timely action against Sharma.
“If you had suspended her 10 days ago when the statements were made, then [the teenager] would be here with us today,” the Scroll article quoted the boy’s cousin as saying.
However, what such a spurious argument does is that it subconsciously legitimises the violent protest that broke out in response to comments made by Nupur Sharma and links it to the action taken against the former BJP spokesperson.
How Scroll leans on the emotional outburst of the stone pelter’s family to undermine UP Police’s action against miscreants
As expected, the Scroll article did not elaborate on how taking to violence regardless of action against Nupur Sharma is criminal and could invite legal proceedings. Moreover, this line of argument echoes with shameless defences proffered by the left-leaning liberals, who play down murderous Islamist tendencies as a fallout of an untoward incident in the past.
Here too, Scroll passes the buck on the BJP as it provides a one-sided narrative from the accused’s family, for whom it is patently hard to admit that their son might have erred.
The article also quotes the accused’s family to allege that the conditions of custody of the teenage boy violate several provisions of the juvenile justice law. Instead of providing concrete evidence to substantiate the claims, the Scroll relies on the emotional outburst of the family, which is probably overwhelmed with grief over the prospect of their son serving a jail term for his involvement in criminal activity.
Scroll conveniently fails to highlight maladies afflicting the Muslim society that pushes youth into radicalisation and extremism
Besides everything else, Scroll fails to highlight the ubiquity of radicalisation prevalent in young and impressionable minds. A 16-year-old Muslim teenage boy jeopardising his future and indulging in criminal activities over comments made on Prophet Muhammad, which were derived from Islamic Hadiths, speaks to the scourge of radicalisation and extremism that has plagued the Muslim society.
However, Scroll conveniently misses out on bringing to the fore the maladies afflicting the Muslim society and instead publishes a sob story to question UP Police’s conduct on the matter, effectively giving a clean chit to the rioter on account of the prejudiced comments made by his kins.