Sixty-four people including four women and Congress Corporator Shehzad Pathan have been arrested in connection with violence that allegedly took place during the protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Shah-e-Alam area of Ahmedabad on December 19.
In the wake of multiple protests across Gujarat against CAA and NRC, the protest called by Shehzad Pathan turned violent as protesters allegedly pelted stones injuring 19 police personnel and two journalists.
Pathan, along with 49 others, were arrested on December 20 under Sections 307, 333,337,143, 145,147,151,152,153,188 and 120B under Indian Penal Code (attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt to deter pubic servant from duty, causing hurt by act endangering life, unlawful assembly, joining unlawful assembly despite being order to disperse, rioting, unlawful assembly of more than five persons, assaulting public servant, giving provocation with intent to cause riot and criminal conspiracy). Fifteen people were arrested on December 21 from Shah-e-Alam area of the city. This apart, an FIR has been lodged against a nameless mob of 5,000 for causing and taking part in violence.
Pathan, along with 12 others, has been taken into police custody till December 26 while the rest of the 49 arrested on December 20 have been sent to judicial custody. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed in the area that remained closed following the violence.
Twenty-two protesters have been booked from Banaskantha district under charges of culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, assault and obstruction to public servants on duty among other charges under IPC in Chhapi police station. Among arrested are four aides of independent MLA of Vadgam Jignesh Mevani who were taken into preventive custody on the morning of December 19 before the anti CAA protests started in Chhapi Vadgam highway.
The FIR states, “While permission to assemble was granted on ground of commemorating the martyrdom of freedom fighters Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bilmil, subsequently a conspiracy was hatched to protest against CAA and the permission hence was withdrawn.”
“3000 unknown people from Muslim community assembled and a police vehicle suffered damages as crowd pelted stones and a side mirror was broken. The driver was threatened that if he drove away, he shall be killed and the police jeep was rocked violently despite the personnel sitting inside,” the FIR states.
An FIR has been filed against 500 unnamed people for protesting without permission in Rakhial police station of Ahmedabad. FIR was lodged against 37 people in Vadodara after violence broke out in Hathikhana area of the city. Charges were filed under sections 143, 148,149,120B, 323,337, 307 (rioting, criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, unlawful assembly, armed with deadly weapon and rioting) among others under sections under IPC.
Reportedly, Vadodara was put on ‘high alert’ following violence in Ahmedabad and RAF was deployed while local police carried out flag march in “disturbed areas”. While flag march through Hathikhana, a minority-dominated area, a man got down from police vehicle and began video recoding people in front of the local mosque while people were offering prayers to which people objected.
“After the videography incident, mob of about 70 or 80 people charged towards the police personnel while shouting slogans against the citizenship law armed with swords, stones and others weapons and also began pelting stones. Around five policemen were injured including an Assistant Commissioner of Police and a Police Inspector. Following which the police had to open fire two rounds and lobbed 30 tear gas shells to disperse the crowd,” the FIR states.