21 December 2019
Lucknow: The death toll in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Uttar Pradesh has gone up to 15 as incidents of violence continued in various parts on the state including Kanpur and Rampur on Saturday too.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday met Governor Anandiben Patel and apprised her of the situation in the state in the wake of protests against the CAA.
While State Director General of Police O.P. Singh said that nine persons had died in cross firing though the police had not fired even a single bullet and only used tear gas shells to disperse the mob, Inspector General, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar said that 15 people had died in the state since December 10.
He also said 705 people had been arrested, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code imposed in the entire state, and police was maintaining vigil in violence-hit areas and appealing for calm.
Internet services will remain suspended in 15 districts including Lucknow till noon on Monday. A polytechnic back paper examination, proposed on Saturday, was cancelled, while the TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) scheduled for Sunday has already been deferred.
On Satuday, one person was killed as fresh violence broke out in Rampur during protests against the CAA.
Slogan-shouting protesters engaged in stone-pelting and arson and clashed with the police in the violence that continued for two hours, according to officials.
As the protesters began pelting stones at the police, the force responded with a baton charge and fired tear gas shells. One person was killed in the violence.
Additional Director General of Police Avinash Chandra reached the spot and is camping there to control the situation.
The violence erupted after the administration denied permission for a demonstration following a call for protest by Muslim clerics.
The clerics, however, appealed to people not to assemble and hold any protests. But by that time, people had gathered at Hathi Khana Chowk in Rampur and violence followed.
Violence was also reported from Kanpur on Saturday evening and 16 persons were injured. Protestors set the Yateemkhana police outpost on fire and paramilitary forces were called in to control the situation. There was stone pelting on police.
Samajwadi Party legislators Amitabh Bajpai and Haji Irfan Solanki were taken into custody.
In Sitapur, the police indulged in heavy baton charge to disperse the large number of protesters who had come out on the streets. No casualty has been reported so far.
There was brick-batting between members of two communities in Muzaffarnagar's Civil Line police station area, and police reached the spot and carried out a baton charge to disperse the mob. In view of the tension, a police contingent has been deployed in the area.
In Jhansi, police blocked 300 Facebook accounts spreading inflammatory posts and are set to file cases against the accused.
The Lucknow police, on Friday night, had picked up the state correspondent of a national daily who is a Muslim from Kashmir while he was outside the Vidhan Sabha building. He was detained at the Hazratganj police station where police used religious and regional slurs against him. He was also threatened to be booked under IPC Section 120 B (punishment for criminal conspiracy).
He was later taken to Sultanpur police station where police continued to interrogate him while he explained that he covering the protests. It was only after the intervention of the Chief Minister's Office that he was released.
In Lucknow, leading Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, has appealed to the Muslim community to maintain peace.
Four deaths were reported from Meerut district, while the boy lost his life in a stampede in Varanasi when a violent mob was being chased by police personnel. Two persons were killed in Bijnor and one each in Lucknow and Rampur.
Six people were killed on Friday as protesters clashed with the police at several places in the state. They hurled stones and torched vehicles, the officials said.
A total of 263 police personnel had been injured in the violence and 57 policemen had received bullet injuries amid reports of firing on police personnel deployed to maintain law and order. More than 405 empty cartridges had been recovered from the violence-hit areas.
Tension mounted in Lucknow on Saturday when rumours spread that the district administration had started pasting notices of fines on houses of identified protesters.
Chief Minister Adityanath had said on Thursday that those who damage state property will have to pay fines, failing which their properties will be attached.
Violence during the anti-CAA protests has so far claimed lives in Bijnor, Sambhal, Ferozabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut in the state.
Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Sambhal were some of the areas that were worst-hit by the anti-CAA protests.
Police were mainly targeted when they stopped people from taking out processions in defiance of prohibitory orders in places all over the state.
Dozens of vehicle belongings to police and media persons were set ablaze by protesters.