Lucknow: In a shocking revelation, it has been found that minors have been at the forefront of the recent violence in Uttar Pradesh against the controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
According to a senior police official , majority of the protesters in Kanpur, Prayagraj, Saharanpur and Moradabad are minors.
ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar admitted that minors have been found to be actively involved in violence after the weekend violence.
“We are identifying the credential of these minors to ascertain whether they have been involved in incidents of crime in the past too. We are also probing the larger conspiracy to stoke violence in the state,” he said.
Moradabad SP Hemant Kutiyal said police have invoked relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act against 50 unidentified minors.
“We are identifying the minors and teenagers who pelted stones despite appeals from police teams. Investigation will also be done first to known whether they are locals, and secondly, if they were lured into this,” he said.
In Saharanpur, over 100 teenagers were involved in stone-pelting. “We have booked unidentified teenagers protesting and raising slogans,” the police said.
ADG, Prayagraj zone, Prem Prakash, told reporters that the crowd had been dispersed following the Friday prayers by the cops. But children, teenagers equipped with stones and covered faces started emerging and raising slogans.
“Police exercised maximum restraint as a significant number of kids were involved. They were pelting stones intermittently. Mischievous elements incited kids based on faith and pushed them to attack,” said Prakash.
For the state police, this is a new and seemingly dangerous trend.
“It appears that the children are being radicalized to indulge in violence in the name of religion. We are trying to find out those responsible for this and strict action will be taken against them. The agitators know that the police will not go beyond a point against children and are now using them as pawns,” said an official.
Meanwhile a source said that since schools are closed, children, especially teenagers, are free and they are being lured into protests for money.
“These children do not even realize the consequences of their actions. They are happy getting some money in the holidays,” the source said.