Spontaneous CAA protests a worry for BJP

Spontaneous CAA protests a worry for BJP

 Protestors hold placards during an anti-Citizenship Act protest, at Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow. (PTI Photo)

Presence of a large number of young boys and girls in the massive protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Lucknow on Thursday has not only taken police by surprise but has also stumped the BJP.

While most Muslims took part in the protests in over a dozen districts in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, people from the other communities including students from different educational institutions here and outside were also present, according to sources.

Police officials here claimed that "outside criminal-elements", who had infiltrated the demonstrations, had indulged in violence.

"We have inputs of presence of a large number of outsiders in the protests," said a senior police official here on Friday.

Some students and at least two teachers of Lucknow University were also part of the protests.

Sources said that many people, who were passing by the areas where protests were taking place, simply parked their vehicles on the side of the road and joined the protesters.

"We had not expected such a massive protest... That was why we were taken by surprise," admitted another police official.

Significantly, there was no one to lead the protesters. In fact, the absence of any leader made the task of the police more difficult.

Sources also said that the local intelligence unit (LIU) failed to gauge the scale of protests primarily owing to the spontaneous nature of the protests.

Though most Muslims took part in the protests on Friday, politicians were again absent from the demonstrations.