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UP 'protestors' thrashed in police custody, BJP lawmaker calls it 'return gift to rioters'

The video showed two cops brutally hitting nine protestors with sticks who begged them to stop
Last Updated : 12 June 2022, 11:39 IST
Last Updated : 12 June 2022, 11:39 IST
Last Updated : 12 June 2022, 11:39 IST
Last Updated : 12 June 2022, 11:39 IST

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A controversy erupted in Uttar Pradesh after a BJP lawmaker termed the alleged thrashing of some Muslims by cops in a police station, who had allegedly taken part in Friday's protests over the Prophet remarks row, a "return gift to the rioters".

"Balwaiyon ko return gift" (return gift to the rioters), said BJP MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi, who was also former media advisor of UP CM Yogi Adityanath, as he posted a video of the alleged thrashing inside what appeared to be a police lock-up.

The video, which went viral on social media, showed two cops brutally hitting nine protestors with sticks as the latter begged them to stop and tried to fend off the blows with their hands.

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav also shared the video on his Twitter account and strongly condemned the incident saying that "questions must be raised on such lock-ups else justice will lose its relevance".

There was no official comment from the UP police in this regard but sources said that the police station was in the Saharanpur district, which had witnessed large-scale protests after Friday prayers over remarks on the Prophet.

Saffron outfits on Sunday took out a procession at Jangiganj town in UP's Bhadohi district, about 250 kilometres from here, in support of Nupur Sharma. BJP MP Sakhsi Maharaj also defended Sharma and said that the situation was brought under control quickly as Narendra Modi was the prime minister and Adityanath was the CM of UP.

More than 300 people were arrested across the state in connection with the protests which turned violent in some places prompting the police to use force.

Protests had taken place in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Saharanpur, Deoband, Firozabad, Hathras, Moradabad and some other places. The protests had started soon after the Friday prayers at mosques as sloganeering Muslims tried to burn effigies of Nupur Sharma and demanded her immediate arrest.

As Adityanath directed cops to take stern action against protestors, the police slapped the Gangsters' Act on them and also bulldozed houses of many of them, sources said.

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Published 12 June 2022, 10:49 IST

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