Days after the city witnessed protests, which subsequently turned violent, Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) on Saturday demolished a commercial building in the city’s Swaroop Nagar area. Police said the property belonged to a “close relative” of the prime accused in the June 3 violence.
The KDA, however, called it “routine procedure”, and “part of (its) campaign against land mafia”.
In a statement, KDA said the property belonged to one Mohammad Ishtiaq. “Police and administration have also informed that links of Mr Ishtiaq are apparently to mafia, which is being investigated,” it stated.
Ishtiaq’s son Ifteqar Ahmad (45), who works as a tailor, told The Sunday Express that Ishtiaq, 70, died in 2018 following a heart attack.
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Asked about police’s assertion that the property razed on Saturday belonged to a close relative of Hayat Jafar Hashmi — prime accused in the June 3 violence case who was arrested along with three others from Lucknow the following day — KDA secretary Shatrohan Vaishya told The Sunday Express: “The case with KDA has been on…the issue is not of the recent incident (June 3 violence). The demolition order was passed in April. In that sequence, action was taken. Now, if police find some link, that is separate…. Action was part of routine procedure.”
Ifteqar said: “The property demolished is in my father’s name. The allegations regarding my links to accused Hayat Zafar Hashmi are baseless. I wouldn’t be able recognise him if you make him stand in front of me.”
Ifteqar said he was was not part of the protests on Friday (June 3).
While KDA in its statement that the property faced demolition after a notice was served in the past, Ifteqar said, “I wanted to make it a commercial building. What was illegal in the building should have been told to me by those who demolished it. But I wasn’t intimated.”
On Ifteqar’s allegation that he was not served demolition notice, Vaishya said, “Officials who oversee that area have told us that notice was served, but he didn’t come on time and action went ahead.”
Asked whether prime accused in June 3 violence has investments in the property demolished, Kanpur Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Anand Prakash Tiwari said, “As per inputs available, both are very close and there are reasons to believe that investment has been made by the prime accused…”
Asked whether Ishtiaq Ahmad is being probed for links with the mafia, he told The Sunday Express, “That is part of investigation. If there is any FIR or case diary…all this is part of investigation.”
Told that Ishtiaq is dead, he said, “I didn’t say anything about him…. I am not supposed to discuss investigation.”