In his latest remarks on the agitation against the new citizenship law, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday claimed that no trouble-maker died due to police bullet and that they died in firing among themselves.
“Upadravi, upadravi ki goli se marey hain (the trouble-makers died from bullet of another trouble-maker),” CM Adityanath said while addressing the state Assembly. UP remained the worst affected state in terms of violence over the controversial legislation as a total of 22 people lost their lives, mostly due to bullet injuries from firearms.
“Police should be appreciated. If someone is coming to die, how can he be alive. If someone comes out to kill an innocent person and he is challenged by police, then either he or the policemen has to die. No one died of police bullet. A big conspiracy was revealed behind anti-CAA protests,” he said.
His statement came amidst the opposition’s demand for a judicial probe into deaths, with the Samajwadi Party alleging that the casualties were caused in firing by police and BJP men. The conduct of the UP police and state administration during the protests was questioned by the opposition.
The Chief Minister’s remarks in the Assembly also contradicted Bijnor Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Tyagi’s statement to the Indian Express that one protester—Mohammad Suleiman—had died after he was shot by constable Mohit Kumar in “self-defence”.
Following this, an FIR was lodged against six policemen, including the then Station House Officer of Nahtaur police station, Rajesh Singh Solanki, over the death of the 20-year-old Suleiman in Bijnor.
Last month, a sessions court in Bijnor had torn into police claims while granting bail to two persons accused of rioting and attempt to murder during the anti-CAA protests. The court said the police produced no evidence to show that the accused indulged in firing and arson, that weapons were seized from the accused, or that police personnel sustained any bullet injury.
On Monday, the state government, in a compliance report, informed the Allahabad High Court that a total of 22 persons died in the violence across the state on December 20 and 21 last year during anti-CAA protests. 83 persons – public and protesters – and 455 police personnel were injured in the violence, the report said. The police had been claiming that 20 deaths occurred during the violence.
It added that eight complaints were made against police personnel over alleged atrocities on people protesting against the new citizenship law on December 20 and 21 last year have been made part of the investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the districts concerned. Two other complaints against police personnel filed in court for seeking direction to register FIRs are pending.
(With inputs with PTI)
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