The WhatsApp chats of Zafar Hayat Hashmi, a key conspirator in the Kanpur riots, were acquired by the Kanpur Police. On Friday, violence erupted in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, as a group tried to force shopkeepers to close their shutters at a popular market in the city because of claimed insulting statements about Prophet Muhammed made on a television show.
The police found a WhatsApp group called ‘MM Johar Fans association Kanpur team,’ where photos of shops being closed prior to the June 3 incident were shared. After violence occurred in the city’s Parade Chowk area on Friday, the national head of the Maulana Muhammad Jauhar Ali Fans Association, Zafar Hashmi, was named among the 40 accused in the FIR.
Hayat Zafar Hashmi, according to police, called the market shutdown in protest of BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammed during a TV news debate. Hashmi is accused of inciting the crowd, which resulted in stone pelting and fights between two factions, injuring more than 30 people, including several police officers. He was caught and put into custody for questioning