Mohammed Anas | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — On Wednesday, India’s leading newspaper Times of India reported that people in civilian attires were seen pelting stones on Muslims protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Firozabad on December 20. The TOI said presence of civilians with police came to light through videos shot by locals that day. Ever since TOI expose, the police and district administration have found it hard to either deny or accept the reality of videos.
Some locals provided the Caravan Daily two more videos that show a crowd (seemingly Hindu as appearance of vandals suggests) attacking a wood factory, which according to locals, belongs to a Muslim. The video shows that vandals are setting the factory afire while the police posted outside it.
This correspondent contacted SP (City), Prabal Pratap Singh, who has earned notoriety as “killer” in the city after December 20 when police firing allegedly killed 6 Muslim youth, to explain presence of locals amid them during the December 20 mayhem.
First, he tried to outrightly deny that any such video is possible. But, when this correspondent sent him one video, he said that the police has acted against all types of vandals. He refused to talk further.
Singh’s colleague, Iraj Raja, SSP (city), too echoed what Singh said. The police has arrested people who were creating trouble. When asked whether the arrested also include Hindus, he said that he had no clue and that Singh would be knowing this.
When contacted Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Aditya Prakash Srivastav, he passed the buck to the district police to explain the videos. He, however, admitted that there are reports of damage to properties of both Hindus and Muslims, along with damage to public properties
But, he didn’t comment on why the district administration has only sent notices to Muslims to pay for the damage.
Around 26 people in the city, all Muslims, have been sent notices by the administration to pay around Rs 20 lakh. Most of these people are daily wage labourers, who were caught in the violence just because they were busy working in the vicinity of the protest.
Police notices to dead and nonagenarians
Firozabad police has another issue difficult to explain. It has issued notices under CrPC sections 107 and 116 to the dead and those around 90 years of age and asked them to furnish bonds of Rs 10 lakh each.
According to locals, a notice has been issued to Banne Khan of Kotla area under Dakshin police station in connection with the protest six years after he died.
Notices have also been issued to Fasahat Mir Khan and Sufi Ansari Hussain, who are around 90 years of age and not in good health.
News agency PTI quoted city magistrate Kunwar Pankaj who said that action will be taken against those responsible for it.
Pankaj said that an inquiry committee under CO City has been set up to look into the matter.