NEW DELHI – Amid a mass crackdown across the state to thwart anti-CAA protests, the Uttar Pradesh police has booked as high as 16,500 individuals in Kanpur district alone. They have been charged with disruption of public order and unleashing of violence, the New Delhi-based online news portal, The Print, has reported.
Citing the information given by police officer Devendra Mishra, a deputy superintendent at Kanpur Nagar, the report said 16 cases have been filed across different police stations in the district over the last few days.
Over 17 people have been killed amid the protests and violence, after a police crackdown on an anti-CAA campaign raging in the state. The authorities shut down internet in 15 districts, restricting communication.
According to the report, meetings were held between district administration and prominent members of the Muslim community in the affected areas as part of efforts to restore normalcy. The community has sought a probe into the “excessive and unlawful” use of force against protesters. “As of now, three persons have lost their lives. Mohammed Sharif, hospitalised following a bullet injury, passed away Sunday. Taki Saif and Mohammad Ibrahim died Friday. Seven more injured remain hospitalized,” the report added.
The locals were initially adamant and said they would not offer funeral prayers for the slain victims, and also demanded release of the arrested.
The administration had asked the public to bury the dead near the mortuary but local community leaders rejected the call. Mohmmad Rashid, a social activist who took part in the protests told Caravan Daily that the situation was returning to normal but the arrest spree by the police continued. “The police is conducting night-time raids to arrest suspects, but resistance from the public prevented more arrests.”
Rashid said nearly 150 individuals have been detained by police so far in Babupurwa area. Most have been released. “The police is arresting innocent people,” he said and accused the cops of ransacking the property of residents during the raids. “We have video of police damaging vehicles of residents.”
He said the residents of the area were “peace-loving” and the area remained an example of “communal harmony”.
The protests Friday, he said, were participated by both Hindus and Muslims. “We want to safeguard the rights enshrined in the Constitution.”
He said leaders of the community and social activists were committed to help the police maintain public order and harmony. Rashid, on his part, has launched a public campaign urging the people to hold protests in a peaceful manner and ensure that communal harmony is maintained.