A total of 415 persons have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh till Sunday for violence over remarks made by two Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons about Prophet Muhammad, PTI reported.

Protests broke out in Kanpur on June 3 against the remarks made by Nupur Sharma during a show about the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute on Times Now on May 26.

Naveen Jindal, who was the media head of the party’s Delhi unit, had posted a tweet on June 1 about the Prophet, which he later deleted.

On June 5, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal after a diplomatic backlash from many Muslim-majority countries.

Widespread protests were held in several parts of the country on June 10.

In Uttar Pradesh, protests broke out in Saharanpur, Moradabad and Prayagraj and other cities.

By June 12, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested 304 persons from eight districts.

On Sunday, Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Prashant Kumar said 415 accused persons have been arrested.

Kumar said that 20 first information reports have been filed so far in 10 districts in connection with the violence on June 3 and June 10.

“Three FIRs each have been registered in Kanpur Police Commissionerate and Saharanpur, seven in Prayagraj and one each in Firozabad, Aligarh, Hathras, Moradabad, Ambedkarnagar, Kheri and Jalaun,” he added.

Ninety-seven persons have been arrested in Prayagraj, 85 in Saharanpur, 58 in Kanpur, 41 in Ambedkarnagar, 40 in Moradabad, 35 in Hathras, 20 in Firozabad, eight in Kheri, six in Aligarh and five in Jalaun.

Demolitions in Uttar Pradesh

After the demonstrations, civic administrations in Uttar Pradesh razed the houses of those who allegedly protested against Sharma and Jindal.

While there are no provisions under Indian law to demolish the home of anyone accused of a crime, this pattern has been regularly observed across BJP-ruled states.

A petition was moved by the Islamic organisation Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no illegal demolitions take place in the state.

On June 16, the Supreme Court orally observed that Uttar Pradesh civic authorities should strictly follow legal procedures while demolishing alleged illegal structures.