Mayhem in UP: At least 18 killed and 5,400 arrested as protests against CAA continue
New Delhi / Lucknow Dec, 23 : At least 18 people including an 8-year-old boy have died in protests against Citizenship Amendment Act so far in Uttar Pradesh.
Fourteen of the 16 persons who were killed during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act over the last four days in UP succumbed to “firearm injuries.
Those who died from bullet injuries are: Mohammed Wakeel (32) in Lucknow; Aftab Alam (22) and Mohammad Saif (25) in Kanpur; Anas (21) and Suleman (35) in Bijnor; Bilal (24) and Mohammad Shehroz (23) in Sambhal; Jaheer (33), Mohsin (28), Asif (20) and Areef (20) in Meerut; Nabi Jahan (24) in Firozabad; and, Faiz Khan (24) in Rampur.
Rashid (35) died due to head injuries in Firozabad while Mohammad Sageer (8) succumbed to injuries sustained in a stampede as police tried to disperse protesters in Varanasi.
A total of 5,400 people have been taken under custody till now and around 705 have been sent to jail. The government is also expected to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against 250 agitators.
Meanwhile, 131 people have been arrested in Bijnor district only in western Uttar Pradesh, the police told reporters in an evening briefing. Several FIRs have been filed against protestors. In the FIR related to violence in Nehtaur, where two people were killed on Friday, 25 people have been named as the accused along with 100 “unknown” others.
The Uttar Pradesh police maintained that it did not open fire at protesters anywhere on Friday or Saturday, and firing came from agitators. “All the deaths that took place have been in crossfire, and this will become clear in the post-mortem examination,” DGP O.P. Singh told reporters. “Women and children were used as shields by the protesters,” he alleged. “If anyone died in our fire, we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh Police is also keeping strict surveillance over social media with more than 13,000 such social media accounts claimed to be spreading ‘incendiary’ content having been identified by the administration so far.