Sambhal police on Monday filed a chargesheet against 15 people for alleged arson, damage to public property and attack on police during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens held at Chaudhary Sarai Crossing in the district on December 19 last year.
This is the first chargesheet filed in connection with anti-CAA protests that broke out in the state since December 15.
Of the 15 arrested people, a few of them were recently granted bail.
Several people, including three policemen, were injured in the alleged violence. According to police, several private and government vehicles were also torched and damaged.
Police are still probing the role of local Samajwadi Party MP Shafiq-ur-Rahman Barq and party’s former district president Feroz Khan. They have been named in the FIR lodged at City Kotwali police station in Sambhal on December 19.
“The chargesheet has been filed in a local court of Sambhal against 15 persons — who were arrested in the case — and investigation against other accused, including MP Shafiq-ur-Rahman Barq is still on,” said Additional Superintendent of Police, Sambhal, Alok Kumar Jayswal, who is heading the Special Investigation Team formed to investigate such cases.
“The role of 15 people came to light during investigation after which they were arrested. Among them, a few were named in the FIR, while others’ roles came up during probe,” said SHO (Kotwali) Amit Kumar, adding that a few of the accused were granted bail.
According to police, protesters reached Chaudhary Sarai Crossing and raised slogans against the CAA and NRC on December 19. Protesters hurled stones at a police team, and damaged and torched government and private vehicles, said police. The situation was brought under control when police resorted to lathi charge and fired teargas shells on protestors. Three policemen, including a sub-inspector rank officer, were injured. Following this, an FIR was lodged against 17 people, including Barq and Khan.
The chargesheet has been filed under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees). Police also invoked the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act against the accused.
A total of 327 FIRs have been lodged across the state in connection with anti-CAA protests and violence in December. As many as 20 people died and several got injured, including policemen. Among the total FIRs, 12 were lodged in Sambhal.
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