The Uttar Pradesh government said on Friday the Muslim community in western Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr have handed the district administration a cheque of over Rs 6 lakh. The amount is seen as a damage compensation during protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act. Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had broken out in several districts of Uttar Pradesh leaving at least 17 people dead and moveable and immoveable assets damaged, mostly in arson.
Along with UP, several parts of the country have been witnessing protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed implementation of a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A group of Muslim men handing over a demand draft of Rs 6.27 lakh to top government officials, according to a NDTV report. "The entire community got together and has contributed to the funds. We handed this to the government as a token from the entire community," NDTV quoted Haji Akram Ali, who identified himself as a councillor as saying.
According to the amended Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and face religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act.
Last week, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said, “In a democracy, you can’t indulge in violence in the name of protest. We will take strict action against such elements. Will seize property of those found guilty and compensate damage to public property.”
On Friday, Uttar Pradesh remained largely peaceful amid tight security arrangements. Internet services were suspended in several districts of the state to check rumour-mongering. Protesters had hurled stones at policemen and set vehicles on fire. Police used lathis, lobbed tear-gas and have admitted to opening fire in self defence in some places.
Police have faced flak over the manner in which they handled last week's violent protests, with human rights activists accusing them of using excessive force and targetting innocent people. Most of the deaths during the violence had taken place due to firearm injuries. Officials claimed there was firing at some places by protesters but police opened fire at a couple of places only in self defence.