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Published On: Fri, Dec 20th, 2019

Citizenship Law: Violence spreads in UP, internet suspended

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EDS PLS TAKE NOTE OF THIS PTI PICK OF THE DAY:::::::: Gorakhpur: Police personnel and protestors throw stones at each other during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Gorakhpur, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (PTI Photo)(PTI12_20_2019_000182B)(PTI12_20_2019_000207B)

 (PTI Photo)

LUCKNOW :  Six protesters were killed in clashes that erupted across Uttar Pradesh over the Citizenship Amendment Act on Friday, the state police confirmed. This has taken the total number of protest-related deaths in the state to seven so far.
However, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh claimed that none of the protesters were killed in police firing. “We did not shoot even a single bullet,” he said, even as another officer claimed that “if any firing happened, it was from the protesters’ side”.
Anti-citizenship law protesters clashed with UP police after Friday prayers in several cities previously not hit by the agitation, including Firozabad and Bhadohi, and hurled stones and torched vehicles in some areas when they were stopped from taking out rallies.

The new areas hit by the violence included Bhadohi, Bahraich, Farrukhabad, police said, besides Gorakhpur and Sambhal, which had witnessed violent protests on Thursday too. Police said they had to use canes and lob tear-gas shells at several places after protesters turned violent and tried to take out rallies defying the prohibitory orders imposed in the state.
Internet services remained suspended in about a dozen districts, including Aligarh, Mau, Azamgarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Sambhal and Allahabad. Lucknow and Aligarh, which have been the scenes of violent clashes over the amended citizenship law, however, remained by and large peaceful.
Security had been tightened in the state capital with the deployment of armed police, and senior officials said the Friday prayers passed off peacefully. In areas deemed sensitive by authorities, police forces conducted flag marches.
Protesters set on fire at least six vehicles, including those of policemen, in Firozabad, forcing police to use tear-gas shells to disperse them and control the situation.Some policemen were reportedly injured in the clash.
Firozabad SSP Sachinder Patel and DM Chandra Vijay Singh were leading police patrols. In Bhadohi, a protest-march was taken out but the participants clashed with police enroute. Officials said tear-gas shells were fired and a mild force was used to control the situation.
Large demonstrations were organised in Gorakhpur, the home district of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, after Friday prayers and protesters hurled stones at police in at least one place. Police fired tear-gas shells in Khoonipur area to disperse them. In another area, police lathi-charged protesters.
In Aligarh, where a red alert had been sounded by the administration in view of continued protests, Friday prayers passed off peacefully, said SSP Akash Kulhari. Peace calls were made from mosques in Muslim-dominated areas this morning, including by the Shahr Mufti Khalid Hamed, urging people to not give credence to rumours. In Sambhal district, clashes between protesters and police were reported in Chandausi area.
On Thursday, two-state roadways buses were damaged and a case was lodged against local Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rehman Burq and others on Friday for defying prohibitory orders.

Bulandshahr District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said internet services were suspended at 3 pm.”In order to maintain law and order and communal harmony, all mobile internet services are being suspended from 3 pm on December 20 in entire Bulandshahr. Internet-related loop lines and lease lines too shall remain suspended,” he said in a statement.
The amended law allows citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India before 2015 after facing religious persecution in three neighbouring countries.
According to information provided by the police, two protesters were killed in Bijnor while one each died in Sambhal, Firozabad, Meerut and Kanpur. Over 50 policemen were also injured in the clashes, they added.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).




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