Several parts of Uttar Pradesh went offline on Thursday as state government amped up security and increased patrolling to ensure peace in view of protests against Citizenship Act. Last week, several districts of the state had seen widespread violence after Friday prayers. As a precautionary measure, internet services, that were resumed after nearly a week, were suspended again in Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Meerut, Sarharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Sambhal, Ferozabad, Aligarh, Kanpur, Sitapur, Mathura and Shamli. Paramilitary force personnel and state police force will be deployed and drone cameras will be used to ensure security in several places on Friday, officials said.
A home department spokesperson on Thursday put the death toll at 19 in the violence last week, which left 288 policemen injured, including 61 who received firearm injury. He said 327 FIRs have been registered and 5,558 preventive arrests made. In the entire state 1,113 persons have been arrested for their alleged involvement in violence.
SIT To Probe Violence During Anti-CAA Protests
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe cases of violence during the recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Uttar Pradesh. The Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh ordered the SIT probe in these incidents of violence. The SIT in each district will be headed by an officer of Additional SP level. The SIT will be headed by Additional SP (Crime) or Additional SP (City) of the district. Singh also assured that no innocent person will be troubled during the investigation, while no accused will arrested without evidence.
The process to confiscate the property of those involved in damaging public assets during the protests gained momentum with 372 people being served notices in different districts. Official sources said more district administrations issued notices to people to make them pay for the losses caused by them in arson and stone-pelting. The maximum 200 notices were issued in Moradabad followed by 110 in Lucknow, 34 in Gorakhpur and 29 in Firozabad, an official spokesman said.
A report from Sambhal said the district administration has issued notices to 26 people for their alleged involvement in damaging properties during protests against the amended citizenship law, asking them to explain their position or pay for the losses.
A preliminary probe in anti-CAA violence in Kanpur suggested role of Bangladeshis and Kashmiris, police said.
1,200 People Booked For AMU March
Some 1,200 unidentified persons, including students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the Aligarh Muslim University, have been booked for alleged violation of prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 by taking out a candle-light march on Tuesday.
The march was taken out as a mark of protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and express solidarity with those who lost their lives during the stir against the contentious law.
Alleging the BJP government was "afraid" of Hindu-Muslim unity, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav sought to know when a probe into "police brutality" on protesters in the state will be ordered.
"The government is afraid of Hindu-Muslim unity. It is making allegations that people are criminals. It wants to confiscate property of the poor. It is commenting on people's dress...Threatening to take revenge from citizens. But the government should tell (people) when will it initiate probe into police brutality," Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.
Also on Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board said Indian Muslims do not have any threat from the National Register of Citizens.
"Hindustani Muslims do not have any threat from NRC. It should be implemented in the country. The real matter is of identification of intruders, who are real threat to the country," its Chairman Waseem Rizvi said.
UP Minister Refuses To Visit Home Of Those Killed In Protests
An Uttar Pradesh minister on a visit to Bijnor refused to meet the families of the two Muslim men who died in the recent protests against the new citizenship law, terming them "upadravi" (vandals).
"Why should I go to vandals' place? How can those who are involved in vandalism and put the entire country and state in arson be social," minister Kapil Dev Agarwal posed, defending his decision to not visit the homes of the two Muslim families.
"Why should I visit those who want to put Nahtaur/Bijnor in flames?" the minister in-charge of the district shot back when asked by reporters to justify his decision.
Agarwal, the vocational education and skill development minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, did meet Om Raj Saini, who was injured in the violence that hit the district's Nehtaur area, and his family.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday met the families of those dead in the violence in Bijnor.