A fact-finding team comprising students from several prominent universities such as JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia and Banaras Hindu University on Wednesday accused the Uttar Pradesh police of "brutality" in dealing with anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests and targeting Muslims.
The fact-finding team travelled to all 15 violence-affected cities in Uttar Pradesh from Meerut to Bijnor to Firozabad from January 14-19.
"Police exclusively targeted Muslim ghettos and economically marginalised people who worked as ragpickers, daily wage labourer, at small dhabas, etc," the report released to the media by the group of students at a press conference here alleged.
It claimed that the police, instead of curbing the protest and dispersing people, open fired on the people killing mostly youngsters especially minors.
The UP government and police have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and asserted that security personnel deployed to maintain law and order were attacked.
Violence during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests claimed lives in districts such as Bijnor, Sambhal, Firozabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut in the state.
"Police did not conform to the basic principles of the use of fire arms and fired above the waist. UP police have been arresting people across the state without evidence and especially at night," the report titled "Lawless Uttar Pradesh -- Students report on Police brutality'' alleged.
A student, who was part of the fact-finding team, said families of the those killed were not allowed to take dead bodies back to their homes and were forced to bury them within an hour or so under heavy police deployment.