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Citizenship Act protests: PFI, SIMI behind UP violence, says govt; death toll rises to 17

While the situation across Uttar Pradesh was largely peaceful on Sunday, two people from Kanpur and Meerut succumbed to injuries suffered during Friday's anti-CAA protests.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 22, 2019 10:18:26 pm
up caa protests, up caa protests death toll, Lucknow caa protests, Lucknow citizenship amendment act protests, citizenship act protests, citizenship act protests, caa discrimination, citizenship law, indian express Paramilitary forces stand guard in Lucknow. (Photo: PTI)

With two more people succumbing to injuries on Sunday, taking the death toll in the four days of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh to 17, the Yogi Adityanath government blamed “outsiders” for the violence and said six people associated with Islamic outfits PFI and SIMI have been arrested.

Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma alleged that protesters had used illegal firearms, PTI reported. “There is involvement of the Popular Front of India (PFI). They have a connection with SIMI. Six people from Malda have been arrested,” PTI quoted Sharma as saying. Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI is a banned terror outfit.

The deputy CM further claimed that as many as 288 police personnel sustained injuries, of which 62 were due to firearms, during the protests that spread across Lucknow, Kanpur, Mau, Sambhal, Bijnor and Firozabad. “The opposition is inciting people by making false statements,” he said.

While the situation across Uttar Pradesh was largely peaceful on Sunday, two people from Kanpur and Meerut succumbed to injuries suffered during Friday’s anti-CAA protests. Internet services have been suspended in several areas till Monday, while prohibitory orders remained in force across the state.

IG (Kanpur range) Mohit Agarwal said a 30-year-old man, who sustained critical injuries in Babupurwa, died at Hallet Hospital on Sunday. The IG also said the role of SIMI activists were being suspected behind the violence. “Cases have been registered against a large number of SIMI workers,” he said.

Earlier, four deaths were reported from Meerut, two each from Firozabad, Kanpur, Sambhal, Bijnor, and one each from Lucknow and Varanasi. An eight-year-old was killed and another minor left injured in a stampede that followed a police lathicharge in Varanasi Friday. Uttar Pradesh DGP O P Singh has maintained that no death had taken place in the state due to police firing.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UPSSSC) postponed examinations for recruitment of junior assistants and computer operators scheduled for December 24 and 26 to January 4 and January 10 respectively as many candidates were unable to download their admit cards.

Besides, in the afternoon, a four-member TMC delegation led by party’s former MP Dinesh Trivedi, which was scheduled to meet the grieving families of those killed in Uttar Pradesh during protests, was “detained” at Lucknow airport.

“We have been detained at Lucknow airport. As soon as we got down from the aircraft, we were surrounded by the police and were taken to a secluded spot on the runway. We are staging a dharna near a hanger,” PTI quoted TMC Rajya Sabha MP Md Nadimul Haque as saying. The delegation also included parliamentarian Pratima Mondal and Abir Biswas.

(With PTI inputs)

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