High Court Asks Uttar Pradesh For Report On Police Action During Violence Over CAA

The Allahabad High Court was hearing seven petitions filed over violence during protests against the citizenship law last month and the crackdown by Uttar Pradesh Police.

Uttar Pradesh saw over 20 deaths after violent protests related to the citizen law broke out.

Lucknow:

The Uttar Pradesh government has been asked by the Allahabad High Court for a report on police action during the large-scale violence that took place in the state in December over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.

The court was hearing seven petitions filed over violence during protests against the citizenship law last month and the crackdown by the police in the state.

Uttar Pradesh saw over 20 deaths after violent protests related to the citizen law broke out across many districts of the state last month. Most of these deaths are due to bullet injuries but the police have owned up to firing in only one instance.

"How many complaints have been filed against the police or government officials over the crackdown on protesters?" the high court asked the UP government, seeking a detailed report on police action, according to Mehmood Pracha, the lawyer for one of the petitioners.

Manish Goyal, one of the advocates who represented the state government, said five affidavits were filed from the government's side in Monday's hearing. "The court wanted some further clarifications from us. We have given details of all the policemen who have sustained gunshot injuries in the violence. We have given a district-wise break-up to the court. The court has asked us for details of all First Information Reports (FIR) filed in the violence and its aftermath," Mr Goyal told NDTV.

The court also asked the government to provide autopsy reports of those who died during protests to their relatives. In court, the petitioners had alleged this was not being done. The case will be taken up again on February 17.

An NDTV investigation tried to verify a police claim that 60 of their men had taken bullets from illegal firearms used by the protesters against cops last month. But one officer with a bullet injury was found in western Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had warned of a "crackdown" on the protesters and the government ordered that those found responsible for damaging public property during the protests would have to pay for it.