UP police say PFI behind Lucknow violence

Uttar Pradesh police on Monday arrested three members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and claimed that they were the 'masterminds' of Thursday's violence in Lucknow during protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in which one person was killed and scores others injured.

Lucknow police chief Kalanidhi Naithani said here that three PFI members, identified as Nadeem, Ashfaq and Waseem Ahmed, had 'planned' the violence with their other associates. ''These three had incited the people to attack the cops and pelt stones,'' he said.

Earlier UP deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma had also said that PFI was behind the violence in the state capital.

Police sources here said that no untoward incidents were reported from anywhere in the state on Monday and that security personnel continued to be deployed in strength in all the affected districts.

Sources said that around one thousand protesters had so far been arrested in connection with the violence in different parts of the state, that claimed lives of 18 people and left many others injured. Over ten thousand FIRs were lodged in this regard.

Police officials said that the National Security Act (NSA) could be imposed on those arrested on charges of rioting and destroying public properties. ''We will slap NSA after a thorough investigation,'' said a senior police official here. 

At many places, the women came out in large numbers on the streets to protest what they alleged indiscriminate arrests by the police. There were reports that the police had been raiding the homes of members of a particular community at late nights and apprehending the male members.

Police were keeping a strict eye on the posts on the social networking sites and so far the cops had acted against around 15 thousand posts, considered to be provocative. 

The Internet continued to be suspended in the state capital of Lucknow and over a dozen other districts as a precautionary measure, the police officials here said.

Schools and colleges remained closed throughout the state and examinations have been postponed in view of the violence and suspension of the internet.

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