Women protesters are chased and caned by the Uttar Pradesh police, who also barge into shops and force them to shut, in mobile phone footage that has emerged from a protest in Etawah against the citizenship law on Tuesday.
Video clips show the police chasing the women in the narrow lanes of Pachraha area and raining blows with their batons as they try to break up the protest.
In a 17-second clip, the women can be heard shouting and asking the police why they are being assaulted. It is difficult to make out whether the cops hitting the women protestors are men or women, but police sources insist only women police personnel were tackling the women protestors.
Other mobile phone clips show the police lathi-charging men who had gathered in the area. In one video, cops are seen entering a roadside eatery, hitting the employees inside and shutting it down forcibly.
A policeman is on camera hitting a roadside vendor and asking him to shut shop. A senior policeman is seen in another video abusing protesters. The police have defended their crackdown, saying the protesters had thrown stones at them first.
The protest took place in Pachraha yesterday afternoon. Initially, some 150 women joined the protest but by night the numbers had swelled to 500, according to local reporters.
A tweet by the Etawah police said its personnel had been posted at the protest site and that protestors were being monitored.
Protests are raging in various parts of the country over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which the government says will help minorities from Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution.
Critics of the law, among whom are students, activists, politicians, women and a number of celebrities, say the CAA, along with the National Register of Citizens, the other controversial process meant to flush out illegal migrants, would be used to target Muslims.
Lucknow has been the epicenter of protests in Uttar Pradesh. Addressing a pro-CAA rally there yesterday, Home Minister Amit Shah said the citizenship law would not be withdrawn come what may.
"Let me say this here and now, this law will not be withdrawn, no matter who protests... We are not scared of opposition, we were born in it," Mr Shah said, challenging rivals like Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee to a public debate on CAA.