The house of Javed Ahmed, the state general secretary of the Welfare Party of India and an alleged key conspirator behind Friday’s Prayagraj violence, was demolished by the district’s development authority amid heavy police deployment. At least two more such demolitions have been planned in the district in the coming days, police sources said. The demolition in Prayagraj followed similar action in Saharanpur and Kanpur, a day before CM Yogi Adityanath announced his government’s strict stand against ‘rioters’.

A total of 306 persons had been arrested by Sunday in UP in connection with Friday’s events, across nine cities, and 13 FIRs have been lodged. In Prayagraj, where Muslim protestors had pelted stones on the police and indulged in vandalism and arson, 68 people, including four minors had been sent to judicial custody while 23 others were being questioned, followed by the arrest of 71 people in Saharanpur. 13 policemen were injured and are undergoing treatment.

According to the PDA, Ahmed had constructed his house without getting his map passed, for which he had been issued a notice on May 10 and asked to appear on May 24 to present his side. Since neither he, nor his lawyer turned up and no evidence was produced to suggest otherwise, a demolition order was passed on May 25. However, Ahmed’s daughter said the family did not receive any prior notice and was asked to vacate the house by Sunday morning only on Saturday.

Post the demolition, SSP of Prayagraj Ajay Kumar told reporters the police found “objectionable material” from Ahmed’s house during the exercise including illegal weapons and objectionable posters.

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