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Violence in Lucknow, other UP areas over CAA; one dead

LUCKNOW: A Lucknow man was killed as violence erupted in the state capital and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh with protesters, angry over the new citizenship law, pelting stones at police and torching vehicles.

Mohammad Wakeel (25) suffered a firearm injury when he was passing through an old city area where the clashes took place, his family said. But police denied that this had anything to do with the protests or the police action.

The scattered incidents of violence were reported from Lucknow‘s old city and parts of Sambhal and Mau districts.

Two buses were torched, one in Lucknow and the other in Sambhal. Mobs also targeted two police posts in the state capital, setting one of them ablaze. Police resorted to lathi-charge and used tear-gas shells at several places.

Eighteen police personnel – 16 in Lucknow and two in Sambhal — were injured, they said.

Altogether, 112 protesters were detained in connection with the violence in the state. Police also held over 3,000 people under preventive detention.

Internet services remained suspended for at least part of the day at various places, including Lucknow, Aligarh, Sambhal, Mau and Azamgarh districts. Section 144 of the CrPc, which bans assembly of people, was already in force in the entire state for several days.

Talking tough on TV, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government will make those who damaged property pay for it. He said a dozen vehicles, mostly two wheelers, were set afire.

Samajwadi Party and Congress MLAs held protests in the state assembly complex against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. SP workers also defied the ban on protests in several districts, the party said. Their protests largely remained peaceful.

Teachers from the Aligarh Muslim University, the scene of violence on Sunday, also took out a protest march. Shopkeepers in some areas of the city briefly downed shutters in support.

Traders in many Lucknow markets shut shop early as reports of violence in the old city came in.

Police fired tear-gas shells in old Lucknow’s Madeyganj area as protesters targeted a police post and smashed vehicles parked outside. About 20 people were taken into custody there. In Hasanganj too, policemen dodged stones hurled by protesters.

At Lucknow’s Parivartan Chowk, close to the district magistrate’s office, police faced brickbats and the van of a television crew was reportedly damaged.

King George’s Medical University (KGMU) Trauma Centre in-charge Sandeep Tiwari told PTI that Mohammad Wakeel died of firearm injuries. “Two other patients are undergoing treatment at the trauma centre and one of them has firearm injury,” he added.

Police said Wakeel’s injury could not be linked to protests. But the victim’s brother, Taufiq, claimed that he was told by a friend that Wakeel was shot at by a police officer.

In Sambhal district’s Chaudhary Rai area, a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as a protest turned violent, District Magistrate Avinash K Singh said.

Some protesters also pelted stones at a police station there, he said.

“Internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering,” he said.

In Mau, protesters hurled stones, triggering a large deployment of UP’s Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).

Several Aligarh Muslim University teachers held a silent march, days after the institute witnessed violence when students protested against the new legislation that they say discriminates against Muslim.

The protesters, including several women teachers, marched from the AMU Teachers’ Club to the Purani Chungi Crossing.

“We want to convey to the people of India that our struggle against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will continue peacefully within the democratic framework of the system,” AMU Teachers Association secretary Najmul Islam told PTI.

“We feel that we are fighting for the idea of India as envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation. This is not a struggle for the rights of any particular community,” he said.

Earlier, MLAs from the opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress held separate protests at the legislative assembly complex.

The MLAs gathered at the Assembly building in the morning ahead of the sitting of the state legislature, raising slogans against the legislation.

An SP MLA climbed the main gate of the Vidhan Bhawan. Some Congress legislators came outside the complex, but headed back when stopped by the police enforcing the prohibitory orders.

The SP also held protests in Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Basti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar districts, where police detained several party workers.

Congress sources said Ajay Kumar Lallu, the state unit president, was also detained while leading a protest at Lucknow Parivartan Chowk.

The gates of the nearby KD Singh metro station were shut to prevent more protesters from gathering at the busy spot.

The amended Act allows citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India before 2015 after facing religious persecution in three neighbouring countries. The list excludes Muslims.

Source: Economic Times