AT LEAST SIX persons were killed in firing during protests in UP on Friday against the Citizenship Amendment Act, taking the death toll from the agitation over two days to nine. Police said that over 660 people from towns across UP were taken into custody as part of “preventive action”.
According to police, two persons died in Bijnor, and one each in Meerut, Kanpur, Firozabad and Sambhal. Doctors at the Meerut Medical College, however, said there were two deaths in the city.
Officials and police said at least 38 policemen were injured in the violence, including six who suffered bullet injuries. They said violent protests were reported mainly from 12 districts, including Firozabad, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr and Bahraich.
Officials said that Internet services have been blocked in several districts, including Bulandshahr, Sambhal, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bijnor, Firozabad and Muzaffarnagar.
Senior police officers claimed that protesters opened fire at police in many protest sites. Around 25 vehicles were set ablaze, police said.
“The situation is now under control. The cause of deaths of six persons would be ascertained only after the autopsy report is obtained. Action will be taken against assailants after identifying them,” said Praveen Kumar, IG (law and order).
Police identified those killed Friday as Aftab Alam (23) in Kanpur, Bilal (24) in Sambhal, and Anas (21) and Suleman (35) in Bijnor. The others are yet to be identified, they said.
On Thursday, a 25-year-old man was killed in alleged police firing during a protest in the Old Lucknow area, while two others died of “bullet injuries” in Karnataka’s Mangalore.
“In preventive action following today’s incidents, police have taken a total of 667 persons into custody,” UP Police said in a statement.
“At places of violence and arson, a total of 38 policemen were injured in which a few sustained firearm injuries. Around two dozen vehicles were set ablaze and vandalised. Deaths of six persons have been reported so far. Every district has been asked for a detailed analysis of the loss. Strict action will be taken against the miscreants after identification, and action to recover costs for damaged property will be taken against them legally,” the statement said.
(With Amit Sharma in Meerut)