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19 arrested in UP for arson; Adityanath says they are miscreants, not students

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrives to attend the Winter session of the State Assembly in Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrives to attend the Winter session of the State Assembly in Lucknow.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Chief Minister instructs police to ‘keep an eye on those spreading rumours’ about CAA

The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday said it arrested 19 persons on charges of arson, a day after a protest march against the Citizenship (Amendment Act) turned violent in Mau district.

Also read | At least 60 injured in police crackdown at Aligarh Muslim University

And amid the protests in Lucknow, Mau and Aligarh districts, among others, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday instructed police to take “strict action against those who play with law.”

He said, “Those who indulged in arson are not students but ‘upadravi’ [miscreants or unruly elements],” a government spokesperson quoted Mr. Adityanath as saying. He, however, did not mention any particular incident. 

Superintendent of Police, Mau, Anurag Arya, said the 19 persons were identified on the basis of videos and photos of the incident. The process of identifying others allegedly involved in the clashes with the police, in which three to seven motorcycles were damaged or set ablaze and parts of a police station vandalised, would continue.

“All people involved in this, no matter what age they are, they will be identified and harshest action taken against them,” he said.

Protesters in the Mirza Hadipura area of Mau allegedly pelted stones at the police and torched some two-wheelers parked near the Dakshintola police station on Monday. The police resorted to a lathicharge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Some shots were also fired in the air, as per footage of the incident being shared on social media.

The Mau administration enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 and suspended Internet services but curfew was not imposed, clarified DGP O.P Singh. Internet services have already been suspended in Aligarh, Meerut and Saharanpur, Mr. Singh told a television channel.

Police said the situation in Mau was now under control even as additional forces were deployed.

600-700 persons booked in Lucknow

Around 600-700 persons, including 17 of them identified, were booked under several serious clauses such as sedition for holding a protest against the CAA in old Lucknow on December 13 without permission and for allegedly raising slogans against the Indian government and unity and integrity of the country. Among those named in the FIR, lodged at the Thakurganj police station, is AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen) district head Mohammad Qasim. While protesters said two-three of their colleagues had been arrested, there was no official word from the police.

The Chief Minister has instructed the police to “keep an eye on those spreading rumours” about the CAA. He passed on the instructions to top police officers and administrative officials of the ranks of ADG, Commissioner, IG and DIG through video conferencing.

The officials have also been asked to communicate with religious heads and intellectuals of various religions and tell them that the CAA was not against any caste or religion, the government spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:28:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/caa-protest-those-indulging-in-arson-are-miscreants-not-students-says-adityanath/article30328030.ece

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