LUCKNOW: Despite CM Yogi Adityanath's appeal for peace and harmony, the flames of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) reached state capital Lucknow as the students of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama and Integral university also joined the stir resulting in a fierce face-off between the students and police here on Monday.
Pushing the agitating students who were shouting slogans and indulging in stone pelting back into the campus, the gates of the Nadwa college were closed by the police authorities.
Meanwhile, in the wake of violent protests by the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students, CM Yogi Adityanath appealed the people of the state to maintain peace and harmony and eschew rumours. Section 144 of the CrPC has been clamped across all the 75 districts of the state and internet services have been suspended in three cities including Aligarh, Saharanpur and Meerut in western UP. UP DGP OP Singh claimed all the students on AMU campus will be sent home on Monday.
In a statement past Sunday midnight, Adityanath said, "People should not pay any attention to the rumours about the Citizenship Amendment Act being spread by some vested interests."
He also said the state government was committed to providing security to every citizen of the state. "For this, it is necessary that everyone follows the law. Nobody will be allowed to disturb the atmosphere of peace in the state," he said.
As per Kalanaidhi Naithani, SSP Lucknow, the district administration and the police administration were keeping a tight vigil on the situation which was under control.
"Our social media cell is also keeping a close eye to check any hate post being circulated on social networking sites as they may lead to further unrest," said Naithani.
"There was stone pelting for about 30 seconds at Nadwa college when around 150 students had come out to protest and raise slogans. Situation is normal now. Students are going back to their classrooms," he added.
Nadwa College is the latest campus in the country to witness clashes between the police and students.
It all began with violent protests in Delhi's Jamia Nagar. A protest held against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which aims to provide expedited citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who reached India before 2014 from three neighbouring countries, turned violent near the Jamia Millia Islamia university.
Earlier, on Sunday, there was a violent turn at the Aligarh Muslim University as students and the police clashed on Sunday night following reports of police action against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi.
In view of the violent protests, winter vacation was announced and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was closed till January 5 and all examinations were postponed, said university spokesperson Shafey Kidwai, adding that the university would reopen on January 6.
To check rumours, district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh suspended internet services in Aligarh from 10pm on Sunday till 10pm on Monday in view of the violence at AMU.
Meanwhile, speaking on the AMU situation, UP DGP OP Singh claimed that all the students on campus would be sent home on Monday. All the hostels will be vacated in view of the winter vacations announced by the university administration till January 5.
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"We are getting the campus evacuated today, all students will be sent home till January 5," said the DGP.
The violence at AMU had erupted after students decided to move out of the campus in solidarity with their peers at the Jamia Millia Islamia University.
"Despite much persuasion, the protesting students did not pay heed to the peace appeal and indulged in stone-pelting at cops. In the melee, DIG Aligarh Preetinder Singh and an RAF (Rapid Action Force) commandant sustained serious injuries. Around a dozen and half police personnel were injured in the stone pelting," said the DGP.
He claimed that police acted with restraint and denied that they resorted to cane charge. "Tear gas shells were fired to disperse the violent mob of students. There was no vandalism by the cops at all," the DGP insisted.
"Around 15 students have been arrested. No one indulging in violence will be spared. We are identifying the trouble makers and strict legal action will be initiated against them," he added.
Denying the use of force on the protestors, the DGP claimed that despite having the consent of University administration and the AMU V-C to use force to control the situation, the cops acted with utmost restraint.
"We never entered the hostels. However, there is deployment of extra forces and security around AMU has been spruced up," the DGP clarified.
AMU students had been opposing CAA since the last week during which they had staged peaceful protests and held an open talk. On Sunday evening too, a peaceful protest was held and a memorandum was handed over to officials at the Bab-e-Syed gate of AMU.
Late in the evening, ADG (Agra Zone) Ajay Anand reached AMU from Agra and interacted with officials over the situation in AMU, where police were still inside the varsity. He claimed that the situation was under control in AMU. "Students are back in their hostels and the District Magistrate of Aligarh CB Singh, was monitoring the situation," he said.
Meanwhile, IG (Agra Range) A Satish Ganesh led a precautionary drill in sensitive areas of Agra. He asked police asked to be vigilant in view of protests in Aligarh and Delhi. Meerut and Agra zones have been declared extra sensitive.
UP Minority Affairs minister Mohsin Raza claimed that certain parties were fomenting trouble in the garb of CAA protests in the state for their petty political goals.
"It is the duty of the Muslim religious leaders, who claim to be the well-wishers of the community, to explain to protesting Muslim students that CAA was in their favour. It is not against the community. There is no threat to Indian Muslims," said the minister. saying gullible students were being used by the political forces to propagate their own divisive agenda in the country.