LUCKNOW: One person who got injured during the violent protests in the Uttar Pradesh capital died during treatment at Lucknow Trauma centre on Thursday evening.
Mohammad Vakil was a resident of Hussainabad locality in the old city area. UP DGP OP Singh confirmed the death was due to bullet injury but denied it was due to police firing.
"I can't say right now if the person, who died, got injured during the protest or somewhere else," said the DGP.
Violence had rocked UP including Lucknow, Sambhal and Mau during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Acts of vandalism and arson were witnessed in several localities of the old city in the state capital where two police outposts were set on fire while thousands of protesters seized the posh Hazratganj market, known to be the heart of Lucknow, during the protests.
Meanwhile, UP CM Yogi Adityanath directed the Chief Secretary and the UP DGP to take stern action against those who were trying to breach the peace in the name of protests. “I am not going to tolerate this lawlessness in the state. Trouble makers have been identified. They will be taken to task. Their properties will be seized and auctioned to recover the cost of public property destroyed by them,” said the CM.
So far 50 miscreants had been taken into the custody for indulging in violence during which a number of cops sustained injuries in Lucknow. In addition, 144 people in Ferozabad, 155 in Agra and 150 in Varanasi were also arrested as large-scale violence was witnessed in the state despite Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting unlawful assembly being in force and no permission for any gathering given for December 19.
As the situation took a violent turn in Lucknow, UP DGP OP Singh had to take command in the field at Partivartan Chowk when the protesters targeted not only the cops but the media as well. They attacked media persons and set five OB vans of different news channels ablaze in Lucknow.
The protesters outsmarted the cops and resorted to stone pelting at cops in Thakurganj, Daliganj, Khadra, Teele Wali Masjid and Chhota Imambara areas of old Lucknow.
Two police outposts were ransacked and set ablaze in Madeyganj and Satkhanda in the Hussainabad locality of the old city. Several vehicles, including a Roadways bus, were also burnt by the demonstrators who had spilled on the roads in huge numbers. Though the cops resorted to lathi-charge and fired tear gas shells, they failed to deter the trouble makers.
Highly placed sources claimed the violence in Lucknow was executed under a pre-planned strategy hinting at the presence of anti-social elements. A senior police officer out in the field claimed that the protestors, claiming themselves to be from Jamia Milia Islamia and AMU, started reaching the venue -- Parivartan Chowk - in groups of three. “As Section 144 of CrPC was already in force, when the cops confronted them, they had the explanation that they were not defying Section 144 as they were coming in groups of three,” said the police officer.
Tension was palpable in Muslim dominated old city areas right from the morning. There was a protest call by the Congress and Samajwadi Party as well. Initially, the situation was calm but in the afternoon, suddenly the situation went out of control in Lucknow. UPCC chief Ajai Kumar Lallu and senior SP leaders were also taken into custody.
Meanwhile, major incidents of arson and vandalism were reported from the western UP district of Sambhal on Thursday. Internet services were suspended after a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as protests turned violent. As per Sambhal District Magistrate Avinash K Singh, protesters indulged in stone-pelting at the cops. Sambhal SP Yamuna Prasad said the violent mob set a state roadways bus afire in Chaudhary Sarai area of the district on Thursday afternoon while another was damaged.
Violent protests were also far from over in the eastern UP district of Mau, the stronghold of BSP MLA and mafia don-turned-politician Mokhtar Ansari, on Thursday. A mob of protesters targeted the cops leading to the huge deployment of RAF and PAC battalions.
Scores of teachers from Aligarh Muslim University held a silent march opposing the Citizens (Amendment) Act on Thursday. The protesters, including a large number of women, marched from the AMU Teachers Club to the Purani Chungi crossing and circled the campus.