Violent protests against the amended citizenship law spread to more parts of Uttar Pradesh after juma namaz on Friday as protesters turned arsonists and went on the rampage in Firozabad, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Bhadohi, Meerut and some other places, leading to five deaths.
While the local police did not officially announce any death, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi confirmed to a news agency that five people died on Friday in the violence during protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Sources maintained that while two causalities were reported from Meerut, one each died in Firozabad, Bijnor, and Muzaffarnagar.
In Sambhal, Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rehman Burq and a hundred other protesters were booked for defying prohibitory orders and holding meeting against the CAA on Thursday. As many as 25 people were taken into custody and others were being identified with the help of video footage of arson and stone pelting.
In Meerut, the protesters, after being chased away by the police, gathered on rooftops and hurled stones in Tiranga crossing area of Nauchandi on Friday evening. Some of the miscreants fired gunshots in which two protesters on another roof sustained grievous injuries and later died in a hospital.
Earlier in the morning, the protesters came out of a mosque after Friday prayers and indulged in violence, forcing the police to resort to cane-charge in Kotwali police station area.
In Firozabad, the CAA protesters emerged from Jama Masjid after Friday prayers and torched several vehicles and Nalband police outpost and later pelted stones at police personnel in the city area.
After leaving the mosque, the protesters marched towards Nalband and indulged in violence. The mob burnt the furniture of Nalband police outpost and torched police vehicles. In the police firing, one of the protesters died while one constable was also critically injured.
In Bijnor, clashes took place at several places, including Meenakshi Chowk where during firing, one person was killed.
In Muzaffarnagar also, violent clash took place in which one protester died of bullet injury.
In Khatauli area of Muzaffarnagar, police cane-charged protesters near Balakram when they violated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and raised slogans against the CAA.
In Bhadohi too, protesters hurled stones and torched vehicles in some areas when they were stopped from taking out a rally.
In Saharanpur too, thousands of protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers and raised slogans against the government.
In Deoband, the protesters staged peaceful demonstration after the juma namaz.
In Kanpur, protests were witnessed in Nadesar area where protesters in large numbers took to the streets to raise their voice against the CAA.
In Hapur, police cane-charged a mob when they were trying to take out a march after namaz. They also raised slogans against the government.
In Varanasi, two protesters were injured when a wall fell on them during a protest while in Jaunpur, protesters raised slogans against the government.
Large demonstrations were organised in Gorakhpur, the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Friday. The protesters hurled stones at police in two places and the police retaliated by firing tear-gas shells in Khoonipur area to disperse them.
Tension prevailed in Ghantaghar, Shahmaroof, Nakkhas, Khoonipur and Ismailpur areas of Gorakhpur as people came out of mosques in large numbers and stage demonstration.
In Aligarh, where a red alert was sounded by the administration in view of continued protests, the Friday prayers passed off peacefully. Peace calls were given from mosques in Muslim-dominated areas on Friday morning. Shahar Mufti Khalid Hamed urged people not to attach importance to rumours.
Similar protests were also reported from Bijnor, Bahraich, Farrukabad and some other parts of the state.
Internet services remained suspended in about a dozen districts including Aligarh, Mau, Azamgarh, Sultanpur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Sambhal and Allahabad.
Lucknow and Aligarh, which witnessed violent clashes over the CAA on Thursday, however remained calm.
Security was beefed up in Lucknow after Thursday’s violence and heavy deployment of police forces was made to avert any untoward incident. While no untoward incidents were reported after Friday prayers at Tile Wali Masjid in Chowk, shoppers preferred to remain out of the busy markets. In areas deemed sensitive by authorities, police personnel conducted flag marches.
Meanwhile mobile internet and text messaging services of all telecom operators remained suspended in Lucknow and some parts of the state on Friday.