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Violence broke out as prime minister Narendra Modi, president Ram Nath Kovind and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath were all less than 100 km away at a major event.

Thirty-six people have been arrested and three FIRs filed – in which 40 persons have been named and 1,000 others listed as unknown accused on charges of rioting and attempt to murder – after violence between members of a minority community and police in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur on Friday. Kanpur Police Commissioner Vijay Singh Meena told news agency ANI: “More people are being identified on the basis of the video (footage)… action against conspirators under Gangster Act and their property will be seized or demolished.” 

“We’ve briefed personnel to be alert at their locations. We’re also doing a route march and patrolling to build confidence among the public. Situation is under control… traffic is functioning regularly. There are no issues,” Vijay Meena said.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath met district police chiefs via video conference late Friday night and directed Kanpur officers to identify those responsible and take strict action. He also asked for increased police deployment in affected areas and regular patrols in all sensitive areas of Kanpur district.

The incident began as members of a minority community observed a bandh and took out a procession after Friday prayers to protest a BJP spokesperson’s allegedly insulting remark about Prophet Mohammad.

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