Hayat Zafar Hashmi

Zafar Hashmi is a social activist who was arrested in the Kanpur violence case by the Uttar Pradesh police.


In Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the demand for the arrest of Nupur Sharma was raised by  Muslims for her derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) on national television. Zafar Hayat was leading the Jail Bharo Andolan against the inflammatory remarks of Sharma and called for a peaceful Bazaar bandh.

According to the police, the protest on June 3, 2022, ended up in violence, causing injuries to at least 40 people, including 20 police personnel. The police dubbed Hashmi as the main accused and perpetrator of the violence.

His wife, Uzma, asserted that the police authorities assured Zafar to cooperate during the peaceful Bandh; later they accused him of hatching a conspiracy.

Life and Activism

 Zafar Hashmi is a social activist and the National President of the Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar Fans Association, a charity group. It focuses on charity, free education for children, and justice for the poor. During the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) movement in 2019–20, he actively led protest demonstrations against the discriminatory legislation. Hashmi was outspoken about his disagreement with the ruling right-wing government.

In an interview, while discussing his work, Hashmi said: “When I was in high school, inspired by social work and my beloved Prophet, I started an organization in 2007 in the name of freedom fighter Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar.” “When the lockdown started, we fed and distributed rations to 2000 needy people for 82 days. In the lockdown, on the occasion of Navratri (nine-day Hindu festival), Janmashtami, and Ramadan, we distributed food and other materials.” 

In 2000, Zafar took the initiative to revive the Iqbal Library. He collected funds for the renovation and gathered substantive support from the community. Soon, the activist became a renowned figure and spoke for minority rights. His social media presence attests to his stance against hate speech and Hindu nationalism.

In 2010, Hashmi suffered an unfortunate incident when his mother and sister set themselves ablaze in front of the District Magistrate’s office. According to the reports, the mafia tried to take possession of their home. The duo met the officials 17 times to seek help before approaching the last measure. Later, they succumbed to their injuries. Aggrieved by the incident, Hashmi moved to his in-laws and diligently worked on his Jauhar Association. Since then, the activist has been a prominent figure in his local area and has promoted communal harmony during community clashes.

Charges and allegations

Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), Section 148 (Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), Section 149 (Common object), Section 307 (Attempt to murder),  Section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt),  Section 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), Section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), Section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), Section 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), and 120 B (Criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984. National Security Act. 

Current Update

Not released yet.

More Prisoners

Rajinder Singh Taggar

Life and Activism Taggar runs the Punjab Dastavez and was charged for extortion, criminal conspiracy and wrongful restraint, according to reporting by The Indian Express....

Hemant Soren

Background Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to a money laundering case. Prior to his arrest, he resigned as the state’s...

Surju Tekam

Background Surju Tekam is the leader of the Bastar Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti and the Vice President of the Sarva Adivasi Samaj, a collective of...

Arvind Kejriwal

Background According to reporting by Al Jazeera, Kejriwal’s government is accused of receiving kickbacks while distributing liquor licenses to private companies. The Enforcement Directorate (ED),...