CAA Protests: 6 die in UP; thousands hit Delhi streets

Police personnel fire tear gas shells during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, at Babu Purwa in Kanpur. (PTI Photo)

Six people, mostly youngsters, were killed and 50 others injured as protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act intensified in Uttar Pradesh, with large groups of people, mainly Muslims, holding violent demonstrations in at least a dozen districts on Friday.

Thousands rallied in the national capital and several other cities across the country as part of raging protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Two youths died of gunshot wounds in Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, while one death each was reported from Firozabad, Kanpur, Meerut and Sambhal.

Hospital sources attributed all deaths to gunshot injuries, but Uttar Pradesh Police chief O P Singh claimed the police did not open fire anywhere in the state. 

The situation was peaceful Lucknow, which had witnessed large-scale violence on Thursday which claimed one life.

Jama Masjid witnessed massive protests as thousands hit the streets in Delhi. One incident turned violent after a car was set ablaze outside a police station. Police accused “outsiders” of stone-pelting.

Protests were also held at the India Gate where Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi turned up, Dilli Gate where violence broke out, and Jamia Nagar, Seemapuri, Seelampur and Mehrauli.

In Uttar Pradesh, police opened fire in the air and used tear gas shells besides resorting to lathi-charge to disperse violent mobs in Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Hathras, Gorakhpur, Baharaich, Kanpur, Ferozabad, Meerut and Bulandshahar.

Protesters and cops fought pitched battles at many places, with dozens from both sides sustaining injuries. The roads were littered with bricks and stones.

The situation was tense in the communally sensitive Muzaffarnagar town.

Video footage of clashes in Gorakhpur, Muzaffarnagar, Bulanshahar and Kanpur showed several vehicles on fire. Over two dozens vehicles and a few police outposts were torched by protesters at various places.

At Madina locality in Gorakhpur, the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the protesters hurled stones on cops. The demonstrators laid siege to several highways in the state, disrupting traffic, sources said.

Internet services were suspended in 15 districts, including the state capital, to prevent what the police said was rumour-mongering.

Over 500 people have so far been arrested in connection with violence in different parts of the state. The police have also booked hundreds of unidentified people, police said.

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