Fresh cases of stone pelting took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur and Rampur on Saturday against the Citizenship Amendment Act, while 15 people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed since Thursday in violent agitations in different parts of the state.
IMAGE: Police personnel hit a civilian during their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that turned violent, at Babu Purwa in Kanpur on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo
Over 260 policemen were also injured, of whom 57 received gunshot wounds, IG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said on Saturday.
“Women and children were used as shields by the protesters,” Director General of Police O P Singh said on Saturday maintaining that police did not open fire.
“All the deaths that took place have been in cross firing and this will become clear in postmortem examination,” the DGP told reporters.
“We are clear and transparent in this. If anyone died due to our fire we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side,” the DGP stressed.
Police had no option but to resort to lathi charge to chase them away, he said, adding that tear gas shells for dispersing the mob.
In Kanpur, anti-CAA protesters on Saturday set Yatimkhana police post on fire and indulged in heavy brickbatting, leading to injury to some people.
Police had to lob tear gas shells and use canes to chase them away, and fire tenders were rushed to control the flame.
ADG (Kanpur) Prem Prakash said RAF has been called out along with ‘Vajr’ vehicles to control the situation.
Samajwadi Party MLA Amitabh Bajpai and former MLA and SP leader Kamlesh Tewari have been arrested as a precautionary measure and their vehicles have also been seized.
Officials said that crowds gathered in areas like Babupurva, Nai Sadak, Moolganj, Dalelpurva and Haleem College and police in large numbers was deployed to keep a watch over the situation.
Clashes broke out in Rampur between anti-CAA protesters and police on Saturday, resulting in injuries to several people, including policemen, officials said.
Around 400 to 500 people gathered here to protest against the amended Citizenship Act amid a bandh call and five of them were taken into preventive custody, they said.
Five protesters were hospitalised and the condition of one of them was stated to be critical, District Magistrate Aunjaneya Singh said.
“Over a dozen policemen also suffered minor injuries during stone-pelting by the protesters, including children aged between 12 and 18 years,” he said.
Another dozen protesters suffered minor injuries due to tear gas shelling by the police, Singh said.
The DM suspected the involvement of non-locals in the protest and said, “Police did not open fire anywhere, yet one protester had a gunshot injury.”
A bandh call was given by the anti-CAA protesters in Rampur on Saturday even as section 144 of the CrPc, which bars assembly of people, is in force in the region and the internet remains suspended.
After a lull of four days, Aligarh Muslim University campus again witnessed protests on Saturday with hundreds of AMU non-teaching staff joining hands with AMU teachers’ association, protesting against the CAA and “police atrocities” against the agitators in various parts of the state on Friday.
Police had to use mild force on Friday evening to disperse a large crowd of protestors at Shahjamal under Delhi Gate police station in Aligarh.
SSP Aligarh Ashok Kulhari said protests have been peaceful and shahr mufti Khalid Hamid playned an important role in diffusing tension.
Aligarh Muslim University vice chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor has set up a one-man internal inquiry by retired chief justice of Chhattisgarh high court VK Gupta into the clashes on December 15-16.
In the western UP district of Kasganj, internet services were suspended following tension, but police described the situation as under control.
Three persons died in Firozabad on Saturday, SP Sachindra Patel said on Saturday.
On Friday, four deaths were reported from Meerut district and two each in Kanpur and Bijnor. An 8-year-old boy was killed in a stampede in Varanasi when a violent mob was being chased by policemen. Besides, violence claimed a life each in Sambhal and Firozabad.
While, three persons died in Firozabad, SP Sachindra Patel said.
On Thursday, one person was killed in Lucknow during clashes, officials said, adding so far 218 people have been arrested in the state capital.
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