An FIR filed by Muzaffarnagar police says that AK-47 ammunition was “burnt” by protesters during violence at Khalapar following protests over the new citizenship law on December 20.
The allegation comes even as several residents in the region have alleged that the police opened fire at the protesters.
The FIR, accessed by The Indian Express, states that a Circle Officer’s vehicle was moving through the crowd when around a thousand people torched a Tata Sumo and along with it several weapons. “The crowd became agitated and set fire to the car despite us asking them to stay non violent. The following items were burnt along with it —- 50 AK 47 bullets along with three magazines, tear gas shells, 24 rubber bullets, 30 .303 mm bullets among others. Several bulletproof jackets were also burnt,” the FIR says.
The police maintained that no rounds of bullets were fired at the protesters.
“The violent protesters destroyed a lot of property, both public and private. A lot of stuff belonging to the police was deliberately destroyed despite our calls to maintain peace. All such criminal actions are under investigation. Through CCTV footage and other evidence we are trying to identify such people,” said Satpal Antil, SP City, Muzaffarnagar.
Following the violent clashes between protesters and police officials, local residents alleged a police crackdown whereby property was damaged in the garb of detaining people. They alleged that windows of several houses were broken, homes vandalised and CCTV cameras destroyed. A mosque was also stormed by the police and items broken, they said.
Lawyers said they were told that more people would be released soon. “The police told us that those who had nothing to do with the protests will be released, which is to be seen. The administration and police are trying to reach out to the public to build confidence. No FIR has been filed against police officials,” said Asad Zama, a lawyer.
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