Not a single person was killed by police bullets during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 19 and 20, 2019, and those who died were killed by the “bullets of rioters”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.
At least 23 people died in the violence during the protests, most of them of bullet injuries.
“Agar koi marne ke liye aa hi raha hai toh woh zinda kahan se ho jaega [If somebody is hell bent on coming to die, how will he stay alive],” Mr. Adityanath said. “Upadravi upadraviyo ki goliyon se hi mare hai [the rioters died from the bullets fired by other rioters],” he claimed.
The police and the State administration “should be praised” for the work done by them during the protests as there was no riot reported in the aftermath, he said.
Mr. Adityanath accused the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) of supporting and sympathising with the outfits that participated in the protests in which arson and vandalism were reported. These outfits “do not believe” in the Constitution and and they received “terror funding”, he alleged.
The Chief Minister singled out the Popular Front of India and accused it of terror funding. The outfit, on several occasions, had dismissed the government charge.
Mr. Adityanath claimed he would support any protest if it was done in a democratic manner and he would even provide it security and freedom. However, if in the garb of democracy, anyone “tears the Constitution to shreds”, attacked innocent persons, dishonoured women or participated in arson, “then we will explain it to them in the language they understand”.
Mr. Adityanath evoked the 1990 firing on Ram Janmabhoomi activists or kar sevaks to target the Opposition, especially the SP, which was in power then, for questioning his government on the action taken against alleged vandals during the CAA protests.
“Those who ordered firing on Ram bhakts in Ayodhya and tried to pollute the esteem of Ayodhya are today seeking answers from us on the action against the rioters”, he said.
The Supreme Court, which in November last ruled in favour of building a Ram mandir at the disputed site in Ayodhya, had put a stamp of approval on the claim of “Ram bhakts”. “The Ram bhakts who were demanding a Ram manidr in Ayodhya were right. And those who fired at them were wrong”, he said.
Mocking former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for his famous comments that even a parinda (bird) would be able to breach the security in Ayodhya in 1990, Mr. Adityanath said: “There was not a parinda but lakhs of Ram bhakts in Ayodhya. But U.P. proved on November 9, 2019 that even a parinda (bird) cannot move its wings under law and order”.
While Mr. Adityanath claimed not a single death occurred due to firing by police, the district police in Bijnor in December 2019 admitted that a youth, Suleiman, died after a constable fired at him in self-defence .