A Lucknow man was killed as violence erupted in the state capital and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh with protesters, angry over the new citizenship law, pelting stones at police and torching vehicles. Mohammad Wakeel suffered a firearm injury when he was passing through an old city area where the clashes took place, his family members said. The police, however, denied that the firearm injury had anything to do with the protests or the police action. 25-year-old Wakeel was admitted to KGMU Trauma Centre on Thursday with Gilani (16), Wasim Khan (22) and Ranjeet (47). Gilani and Vakil had suffered firearm injuries.
"Mohammad Wakeel died of firearm injury here," King George's Medical University (KGMU) Trauma Centre in-charge Sandeep Tiwari told PTI. "Two other patients are undergoing treatment in the trauma centre and one of them has firearm injury," he said.
It is not yet clear from where the firing took place.
The victim's brother, Taufiq, told reporters that "his brother was going home in Hussainabad as there was trouble and he was shot by a 'daroga' (police officer) from a police outpost."
"Initially it was said he had pellet injuries. He was not involved in any agitation. We both are auto-rickshaw drivers and never indulged in any such act (agitation)," Taufiq added.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh said in Lucknow, "55 people have been arrested in the city, we are scrutinizing CCTV footage. SSP Lucknow will take appropriate action, we will not spare anyone."
Reacting to the reports of the death, Singh said, "Firing was not done from our side. I do not know how that death occurred, I do not think it has anything to do with this agitation and police action."
The scattered incidents of violence were reported from Lucknow's old city and parts of Sambhal and Mau districts. Two buses were torched and police posts targeted in Lucknow and Sambhal. Police said 18 of their own personnel (16 in Lucknow and two in Sambhal) were injured. Altogether, 112 protesters were detained.
Internet services remained suspended for at least part of the day at various places, including Aligarh, Sambhal, Mau and Azamgarh districts. Section 144 of the CrPc, which bans the assembly of people, had already been in force in the entire state for several days now.
Talking tough on TV, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government will make those who damaged property pay for it. He said a dozen vehicles, mostly two wheelers, were set afire. Samajwadi Party and Congress MLAs held protests in the state assembly complex against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. SP workers also defied the ban on protests in several districts, the party said. Their protests largely remained peaceful. Teachers from the Aligarh Muslim University, the scene of violence on Sunday, also took out a protest march. Shopkeepers in some areas of the city briefly downed shutters in support. Traders in many markets shut shop early as reports of violence in the old city came in.
Police fired tear-gas shells in old Lucknow's Madeyganj area as protesters smashed vehicles parked outside a police post. About 20 people were taken into custody. In Hasanganj area, policemen dodged stones hurled by protesters. They had a tough time tackling protesters in some other parts of the old city as well.
At Lucknow's Parivartan Chowk, close to the district magistrate's office, police faced brickbats and the van of a television crew was reportedly damaged. Party sources said Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu was also detained while leading a protest there.
The gates of the nearby KD Singh metro station were shut to prevent more protesters from gathering at Parivartan Chowk.
In Sambhal district's Chaudhary Rai area, a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as a protest turned violent, District Magistrate Avinash K Singh said. Some protesters also pelted stones at a police station there, he said. "The internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering," he said.
In Mau, protesters hurled stones, triggering a large deployment of UP's Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC). Several Aligarh Muslim University teachers held a silent march, days after the institute witnessed violence when students protested against the new legislation that they say discriminates against Muslim. The protesters, including several women teachers, marched from the AMU Teachers' Club to the Purani Chungi Crossing.
"We want to convey to the people of India that our struggle against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will continue peacefully within the democratic framework of the system," AMU Teachers Association secretary Najmul Islam told PTI.
"We feel that we are fighting for the idea of India as envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation. This is not a struggle for the rights of any particular community," he said.
Earlier, MLAs from the opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress held separate protests at the legislative assembly complex. The MLAs gathered at the Assembly building in the morning ahead of the sitting of the state legislature, raising slogans against the legislation. An SP MLA climbed the main gate of the Vidhan Bhawan. Some Congress legislators came outside the complex, but headed back when stopped by the police enforcing the prohibitory orders. The SP also held protests in Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Basti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar districts, where police detained a number of party workers.
The amended Act allows citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India before 2015 after facing religious persecution in three neighbouring countries. The list excludes Muslims.