UP: Media adds communal tone to Kanpur Qazi’s words

In second statement, the Qazi clarifies that he was only speaking for those wrongly arrested by the police

Kanpur qazi

Kanpur city in Uttar Pradesh recently reported communal conflict following Friday prayers on June 3, 2022; now another controversy has erupted with a city Qazi allegedly voicing communal sentiments. The Qazi has since asserted that his statements were wilfully distorted by mainstream media.

The violence began after a video of BJP leader Nupur Sharma making controversial remarks seen to be insulting of Prophet Mohammad and these went viral on social media. A Muslim group went around forcibly closing shops to condemn this insult when the police started lathi-charging the group. Similarly, there were reports of some Hindu groups stone-pelting the group trying to shut shops that eventually led to the conflict. According to a syndicated feed, the state police booked 500 people for rioting on Saturday.

According to Amar Ujala, it was this charging only Muslim people that bothered Qazi Hafiz Abdul Quddus Hadi enough to speak to the media. He said that while the Muslim group was wrong to take out a procession, the stone-pelting was equally wrong. Yet, the youth of only one group were arrested by the police he said. Besides, he heard talks/allegations/threats of bulldozers that would be used to demolish Muslim houses in the area.

On all these forms of aggressions, the Qazi said that people will be forced to walk out on the streets in shrouds if such violence continues. Many news channels like Zee News, Navbharat Times and India TV (two of whom are at least clearly identified as right-wing) reported Qazi as saying that “if bulldozers are used on Muslim houses” we too will enter the streets carrying shrouds”. Right-wing social media channels like Hum Hindu Hai page used this opportunity to abuse the marginalised minority community.

Kanpur Voilence

However, later on the Qazi clarified that he was talking only about the innocent people who have been jailed for the June 3 violence. He stressed that he did not wish for anybody to break the law. Instead, he said that if any action is taken against innocents, then people will protest on the streets wearing shrouds.

“If you don’t want us to live here, you want to arrest our children, harass and destroy our houses then okay – we too are educated,” he said.

Like the Qazi other members of society like Millat Times Editor Shams Tabrez Qasmi also faced a backlash for speaking about the Kanpur violence. However, in his case, the local police charged him for “spreading fake or provocative news” on the issue. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Vijay Singh Meena issued a statement saying that arrests are being done in accordance with the law and due evidence. The statement said that the police used CCTV, videos and photos to find the accused.


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