New Delhi: A day after Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, witnessed clashes between the police and anti- Citizenship Amendment Act protesters, several incidents of violence were reported in many districts as the protests intensified on Friday.
By the end of the day, five protesters had died, several vehicles were torched, police lobbed teargas shells and lathi-charged protesters, and internet was suspended in over a dozen districts.
Of the five casualties, two were reported from Bijnore, one each from Firozabad, Sambhal, Meerut, according to the UP police. Officials said one person was killed in Kanpur, too, as per a PTI report.
On Friday, incidents of firing and stone-pelting were reported from Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Firozabad, Kanpur, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Hamirpur Sitapur, Bijnor, Etah, Bahraich, and Hapur districts.
Several vehicles were set ablaze in Bulandshahr after protests turned violent. Heavy forces were deployed in Muzaffarnagar in Western UP, soon after incident of violence and arson were reported. In Meerut, police h resorted to lathi-charge following stone-pelting.
One person was killed in Firozabad after protests turned violent as a section of demonstrators allegedly pelted stones, News18 reported.
When protesters in Bahraich gathered at Gantaghar for a peaceful march, police first resorted lathi-charge and then burst teargas shells in a bid to “control” the crowd.
According to a source, several media persons were also attacked and manhandled by police personnel during the protest.
Meanwhile, internet service has been suspended in several cities of Uttar Pradesh including Sambhal and Lucknow. As many as 20 districts are facing a complete internet shutdown, such as Lucknow, Bareilly, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Prayagraj, Sambhal, Meerut, Mau and Kanpur, even as Section 144 of the CrPC, which bans assembly of people, was already in force in the entire state for several days.
OVER 3,000 ARRESTED
According to Uttar Pradesh police, it has arrested over 3,305 people from 102 locations, including Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq in connection with the violence that broke out in different districts of the state during anti-CAA and NRC protests on Thursday, including in Lucknow.
Chief Minister Adityanath warned that whoever damaged government property, his/her property would be auctioned.
The Uttar Pradesh police said a case has been registered against 17 people, including Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq and Feroz Khan, and other 250 "unidentified" people in Sambhal district in connection with the violence on December 19 during the anti-CAA protest.
Furthermore, in connection with Sunday's protest at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh police have charged 26 people for attempt to murder. The students were protesting against the new citizenship law and police brutality on students of Jamia Millia University in Delhi.
The police also registered 13 FIRs for social media posts alleging that these could have spurred violence and five people were arrested for social media posts. Action has also been taken against 1,786 Twitter, 3,037 Facebook and 38 YouTube posts, said a press statement released by the police.
Rihai Manch's Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey Untraceable
A day after his house-arrest, civil society organisation Rihai Manch member and senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib, retired IPS officers S R Darapuri, activist Sadaf Jafar and Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey were reported “untraceable” in police custody, claimed their family members and colleagues.
All these activists were put under house arrest by the UP police ahead of the scheduled nationwide protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
“First, Shoaib was put under house arrest, later he was detained by the police. However, the police kept misleading us about his whereabouts. They have not disclosed his location yet,” Rajiv Yadav of Rihai Manch told NewsClick.
According to Yadav, Shoaib was detained around 11.45 p.m on Thursday night. Two police personnel were also sent to his house a few hours later to collect his medicines.
Sadaf Jafar's family also said that she was “untraceable” after her arrest.
On December 18, the UP police had issued notices to more than 3,000 people across the state, cautioning them against participating in protests against CAA.
Read More: CAA Protests: Pre-emptive Arrests by UP Police, 3,000 Notices Served