UTTAR PRADESH: Incidents of violence were reported in several districts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday, a day after the state capital Lucknow witnessed violent clashes between cops and protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Incidents of firing and stone-pelting took place in Kanpur, Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Firozabad, Bijnor, Amroha, Bahraich, and Hapur and Deoband districts.
Kanpur turned the epicentre of violent protests when scores of worshippers came out from the mosques after the prayer at 2 pm and indulged in arson and stone-pelting at police personnel. The agitators torched three vehicles. Police resorted to lathi-charge to contain the protesters after they resorted to stone-pelting.
In Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Firozabad and Bijnor, hundreds of protesters indulged in brick batting with police personnel. Some police vehicles were set ablaze by protesters in Firozabad.
Internet services have been shut down in 15 districts, including Lucknow, Bareilly, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Prayagraj, Sambhal, Meerut, Mau, and Kanpur as part of precautionary measures to prevent violent protests. Red alerts were issued in Aligarh in view of Friday prayers.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi said that the shutdown would continue till December 21 at midnight. All private telecom operators have also shut services after the government order.
At least 3,000 people across Uttar Pradesh, including 350 in Lucknow, have been arrested since Thursday night in connection with the protests against the recently amended citizenship law, police officials said.
Security has also been beefed up across the state, as police have registered 19 FIRs against unknown people, of which 17 were 'named'.
In all, 3,037 Facebook posts, 1,786 Twitter posts and 38 Youtube videos (scenes of violence) were deleted since Thursday evening across the state, police added.
This has been done after Thursday's protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) turned violent in Lucknow and Sambhal and led to large scale destruction of public and private property.
According to a senior police official, it was found late on Thursday night that the violent protests on Thursday were being live-streamed on social media which aggravated the situation.
"Apart from the internet, SMS and messenger services have also been blocked. We are trying to inform our customers about this," said a private telecom manager in Lucknow.
The shutdown is mainly going to impact the news industry, which is largely dependent on the internet for news transmission.
(With ENS, agency inputs)