New Delhi: Continuing with their crackdown against those protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Uttar Pradesh police allegedly manhandled protesters in and arrested at least six persons, including women and "children on Tuesday from Lucknow's iconic Hussainabad Clock Tower, known as Ghanta Ghar
The protesters alleged that the police landed up at the protest site in the wee hours, chased way and later caught some males who were escorting the women protesters in Ghanta Ghar.
Yameen Khan, Shaan Khan, Moin Sheikh, Azaruddin, Bablu and Salim have been charged with rioting, unlawful assembly, disobedience of a public servant’s order, assault on public servant on duty and obstruction in public place following an FIR at Thakurganj police station, as per media reports.
Speaking with NewsClick, Thakurganj SHO Pramod Kumar Mishra said: "Despite repeated warnings by policemen on duty, the accused caused nuisance. They instigated others to take part in the protest and also parked their vehicles haphazardly, triggering traffic snarls."
The protesters, on the other side, accused the Thakurganj SHO and other police officials for harassing protesters and removing them from the protest site. "Eight people have been arrested on Tuesday late night. One Yameen Khan got bail but rest seven were sent to jail," Shahrukh Ahamad, member of Rihai Manch told NewsClick.
Ahamad said: "According to the police, they arrested all of them for giving a call for a candle march few weeks earlier. Four people have been arrested even earlier."
The protesters claimed that soon after police crackdown, some fringe elements hurled abuses and threatened to kill them if they do not end the protest at earliest.
Asfiya Khatoon (25), a protester who alleged she was hit by the police in her stomach and private parts, is admitted at Balrampur Hospital in Lucknow, sources said.
Describing the incident, Asfiya said: "On Wednesday, a few fringe elements associated with some Right-wing outfit, barged into the protest site and hurled on abuses on women protesters and even threaten to kill us if we do not end the protest immediately. A few male volunteers chased them, caught them and handed them over to the police, but they were released citing that they are not criminals. When I objected, the police instead said: "Bahut bol rahi hai s***i ye, thane le chalo (She is speaking a lot, take her to police station). At Sarkanda police checkpost, she alleged they beat her up, even in her stomach and private parts."
On January 11, when Lucknow witnessed icy winds, the state police had seized blankets, bedsheets and eatables and even made a few arrests to force protesters to end their sit-in.
Recovery Notice for Rs 1.5 Crore Sent to 16 Protesters
The third time in a row, the Lucknow district administration issued a recovery notice on Tuesday to 63 anti-CAA protesters for recovery of Rs 1.5 crore as compensation for damaged caused to public and government property during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow on December 19.
The recovery orders follow the terse warning that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sounded then of "taking revenge" from those who had indulged in destruction of property during the protests in the state capital.
A total of 10 people of Thakurganj area and six from Kaiserbagh have been identified as a “rioters” and asked to pay Rs 67.74 lakh and Rs 1.75 lakh, respectively, according to the order, the third in the series of orders issued by the additional district magistrate (west), Lucknow, Vishwa Bhushan Mishra.
Before this, 13 persons had been served notices to pay Rs 22 lakh for damages in Khadra localty of the city where protesters had allegedly turned violent, and 28 people had been asked to pay Rs 64.37 lakh for allegedly destroying buses, media vans and motorcycles in Parivartan Chowk area.
However, the Allahabad High Court in mid-Feburary had stayed a notice issued by the Kanpur administration seeking damages from a local resident over the destruction of property during protests against the amended citizenship law.
The stay, ordered on a petition by Kanpur's Mohammad Faizan, came in the backdrop of scores of similar recovery notices sent by district authorities in Uttar Pradesh in recent weeks.
The bench had said the notice violated the guidelines laid down by the apex court in 2009 when it heard the matter related to Destruction of Public and Private Properties Vs State of AP and others. The judges also said the issue was still pending before the Supreme Court.