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Anti-CAA protests: Our kin framed in riots, says Lucknow residents

Reaching out: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh campaigning in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as part of the Jan Jagran Abhiyan in Lucknow on Sunday.

Reaching out: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh campaigning in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as part of the Jan Jagran Abhiyan in Lucknow on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Police have arrested more than 1,240 people across U.P.

A Lucknow court on Saturday granted bail to more than a dozen persons accused in the violence that took place in the city during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 19. However, many like Yasmin Siddiqui still await relief for her son Osama, 20, a third-year B.Com. student. He has been in jail for more than two weeks and his bail plea is expected to come up only on Monday.

Ms. Siddiqui is concerned about her son’s well-being and anxious about his academic future. Osama has his exams on January 7 and 8 and is likely to miss them.

“He is anxious and wants to return home. He is tense about the examination. He didn’t get to study for so many days. They should understand our situation. It’s about his future. He will waste a full year,” she said.

Like the kin of several persons who were arrested for the violence, Osama’s family claims he had nothing to do with the protests. Till 2 p.m. on December 19, he was playing with his friends in the lane outside his house, his family said, adding that they have CCTV footage to prove it.

After that, he was going to a stationery shop, unaware of the violence some distance away, Ms. Siddiqui said.

“Nobody from our locality had gone to the protest. He must have moved further out and encountered the stampede. He ran and took shelter in someone’s house. The protesters also ran into the same compound,” she said, based on what he told her in jail.

“But since they were being chased by the police, many of the protesters escaped climbing over rooftops. But Osama sat quietly in one corner, hoping that the police would not touch him as he didn’t do anything. But it was him the police caught,” she said.

Osama is among more than 500 people in Uttar Pradesh who have been issued notices to pay for damage to public and private property during the arson and vandalism. The police have arrested more than 1,240 people across the State.

Sayyad Waseem, a waiter at a popular Mughlai restaurant a stone’s throw away from the epicentre of the protests, Parivartan Chowk, had gone to work around noon on December 19. But by late afternoon, as violence engulfed the area, the restaurant downed its shutter and Waseem decided to head back home, his family said.

But barely had he left the premises than police caught hold of him, said his brother-in-law Sayyad Nadeem Raza.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 9:43:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/our-kin-framed-in-riots-says-lucknow-residents/article30487608.ece

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