The Kanpur police have found several incriminating Whatsapp chats from six mobile phones belonging to Hayat Zafar Hashmi, seized following his arrest after the Kanpur violence. Hashmi is a local Muslim leader and identified as the main conspirator behind the violence that erupted in the city’s Parade Chowk on June 3, Friday. Previously, he was also a part of violent demonstrations against the CAA and the NRC.
On 3rd June 2022, after the Friday Namaz, Hayat Zafar Hashmi led people into a protest march in which they forced people to shut down their shops, leading to violence. The mob of violent Muslims pelted stones at the citizens as well as the police force. At least six people were injured in the violence.
According to reports, the Kanpur police came across a WhatsApp group named ‘MM Johar Fans association Kanpur team’, on which the pictures of shops being shut before the violence on June 3 were shared. Notably, Hashmi is the president of this local Islamic organization.
“Insha’Allah, thode der mei video aayenge, Rehmani market bandh (Insha’Allah, we will receive a video shortly, bandh at Rehmani market)”, one of the messages read.
The police have revealed that a total of 141 WhatsApp groups were found on Hashmi’s mobile, and most of them had conversations regarding the Kanpur clashes. Several other names have also come up after going through the chats who were also active in those groups.
Hashmi’s phones will remain in police custody as they would be looking into each message and trying to find out who else was involved in the group on the day of the violence. Based on the gathered evidence, police would plan their next action.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage from the day of the violence has also surfaced, showing a group of people carrying petrol from a local petrol pump in PET bottles. This crucial finding comes after police discovered petrol-filled bottles near the clash site, indicating that they were used in an attack.
In a video shared by Republic TV, which the channel claims to be a snippet of CCTV footage obtained by the authorities, a petrol pump staff can be seen providing petrol to some people in a PET bottle. Acting upon this CCTV footage recovered by the Kanpur police, Kanpur District Magistrate Neha Sharma has asked authorities to seize the petrol pump in question. She has also ordered strict action against the pump operators for providing petrol and diesel in pet jars to the rioters.
The Kanpur police had arrested Hayat Zafar Hashmi on June 4, a day after the riots. He is among the 40 accused named in the FIR in the case.
Several people were injured in stone-pelting and violent clashes in the Beconganj area of Kanpur on 3rd June 2022. A total of three FIRs have been registered in the case. After Friday namaz, the perpetrators created a ruckus in Kanpur while protesting against BJP leader Nupur Sharma for allegedly committing ‘blasphemy’ against Prophet Mohammad.
The police have asserted that Hashmi incited the people, which led to stone-pelting and clashes between two groups that left more than 30, including several police officers, injured. He has been detained and taken in for interrogation.
Hashmi had called for the shutdown of the market in protest against Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Islam. He is the president of a local Islamic organization called Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Fans Association and his call for a shutdown triggered an ugly spate of violence after the Friday Namaz. The violence took place on a day when both the Prime Minister and the President of India were in the state.
Who is Hayat Zafar Hashmi, accused of masterminding the Kanpur violence
According to reports, the mastermind of the Kanpur riots, Hayat Zafar Hashmi, has been involved in various anti-social activities for the past few years and has acquired several illegal properties. He runs a ration shop at home under the government quota. Hashmi is alleged to have instigated her sister and mother in a family case, following which the duo immolated outside the Kanpur DM’s office and both of them died in the incident.
It was Hashmi who had gathered the crowd through social media. He is quite active on social media and had provoked people to create nuisance several times in the past. According to the police, he was also a part of violent demonstrations against the CAA and the NRC.