Mukhtar Baba is a restaurant owner based in Kanpur. In June 2022, the protesters gathered, demanding the arrest of former Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammad on national television. The international community widely condemned the remarks. But, despite several FIRs, the police didn’t arrest her.
In Kanpur and other small pockets in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the Muslim activists organized protests demanding her arrest under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to the police, the protests turned violent, and the administration had to resort to extreme measures to “control” and “discipline” the mob. The cops opened fire and injured several Muslims, brutally repressing them and further arresting them under draconian laws for hatching a conspiracy to commit violence.
Before the incident, Mukhtar Baba was falsely accused of encroaching on the temple land and that he “usurped” enemy property” to establish his restaurant. The local administration had given him a clean chit. In April 2022, he moved to the Allahabad High Court against the Home Ministry’s notification declaring his property enemy property. Enemy properties are the left-over assets of Indians who took Chinese and Pakistani nationalities after wars with those countries. After their migration, the government took over these properties under the Defense of India Act of 1962.
Soon after the Kanpur violence, the right-wing portals and the authorities circulated the allegations, establishing a narrative that Baba’s Biryani Business is an “encroachment” on the enemy property, illegally possessing the land for his Biryani shop and taking over the “Hindu land.” Baba has also been accused of funding the Kanpur violence.
Baba’s family asserted that Baba had been falsely implicated. Meanwhile, the authorities forcefully shut down his Biryani outlets spread over Kanpur, citing the food as “unfit” for human consumption. The entrepreneur ended up in jail in June 2022.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties and the human rights community condemned the media trial and Mukhtar Baba’s arbitrary arrest.
Charges and Allegations
Sections 420 (cheating), 464 (forgery), 120B (criminal conspiracy). The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Gangsters Act.
Not released yet.