On June 5, a Prayagraj Court denied bail to the alleged mastermind of Prayagraj Violence Javed Mohammad, accused of causing damage to public property. The Additional Sessions Judge Birender Singh heard the case and observed that the alleged acts of the accused are ‘anti-social’ and serious in nature, therefore, he is not liable to be released on bail. The court further noted that there is a possibility that Javed would tamper with evidence if released on bail.
The court noted that the allegations against Javed are of inciting religious hatred and creating resentment towards Hindus, obstructing government work, damaging public property and arson. The court said, “It is clear from the perusal of the prosecution papers that the allegations against the applicant/accused are that he, along with his co-accused, with the intention of spreading religious hatred and creating resentment towards a particular religion, obstructed government work, damaged public property and caused arson by setting fire to PAC’s truck…”
The court further noted that his criminal history also indicates his criminal state of mind. The court said, “The criminal history of 14 cases of the accused has been submitted. The above act of the accused is very serious and anti-social. The past conduct of the accused is indicative of his criminal state of mind.”
The case against Javed has been registered u/s 147 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 3/5 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, in connection to the 2022 Prayagraj Violence incident. He has been accused of pelting stones and causing damages to properties belonging to M/s Prayagraj Smart City Limited.
Javed’s counsel argued that he was not named in the First Information Report (FIR) and is being implicated in the case due to political vendetta. Furthermore, the counsel argued that he should be released on bail on medical grounds as he is a 56-year-old man suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes and uses insulin regularly.
The state’s counsel opposed Javed’s bail and contended that he is a vicious criminal with a criminal history of several cases. Furthermore, the counsel submitted that the alleged offences are non-bailable and serious in nature, this he should not be released on bail.
Prayagraj Violence ‘Mastermind’
Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Javed Mohammad on June 10 after the Friday prayers. He is touted as the ‘mastermind’ of the violence which broke out during a protest in Prayagraj in 2022. The police had further said that the names of certain people linked with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had surfaced and said that there could be more masterminds.
Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Kumar had said, “Mastermind Javed Ahmed detained, there could be more masterminds…The anti-social elements used minor kids to hurl stones at the police and administration. A case registered under 29 crucial sections. Action will be taken under Gangster Act and the NSA.”
It is pertinent to note that riots had erupted in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal over the remarks on the life of Muhammad made by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal. Major incidents of stone pelting were reported from at least two Prayagraj localities. It took the police about five hours to restore peace in the city. Notably, the Uttar Pradesh government bulldozed Javed Mohammad’s illegally constructed house under heavy police presence a day after the violence.
In February 2023, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Javed in one of the cases concerning the 2022 Prayagraj Violence where he allegedly led a mob to damage public property and set police vehicles on fire. The court had said that the state’s counsels could not refute the arguments of Javed’s counsels to the court’s satisfaction. Javed’s counsel argued that there was no credible evidence against him to indicate that he led the mob, and further said that he was a victim of political vendetta.