Countrywide protests have broken out against the CAA and NRC. Uttar Pradesh is one of the states worst hit by violence following the same.
City after city in Uttar Pradesh burns over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The death toll in CAA-related protests has now reached 23 in the state. The fundamental rights to life and liberty, free speech, free movement and association are also under great danger in the state.
Anas and Mohammed Suleman lost their lives in police firing at Nehtaur in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh. Suleiman was a UPSC aspirant and Anas was the father of a 7-month-old child. “He went out to buy some milk. He had nothing to do with the protests,” said Anas’s father Arshad Hussain.
“My son had gone to offer namaz. He was returning home after the namaaz to eat something, there was lathi-charge and tear-gassing by the police. The police picked him up and shot at him,” said Suleman’s father.
More than 1,117 people are under arrest and 5,558 kept in preventive detention. Around 705 people have been sent to jail following violence related to the anti-CAA protests.
Many claim that teenagers were allegedly not part of the demonstrations. Mothers of schoolgoing Muslim teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 years recounted stories of brutal beatings, being framed in false cases and sleep deprivation.
“People in Muslim colonies are staying up all night to guard their houses. They are terrified of a police raid or a communal attack. “
“The people are scared after the recent conduct of the police — the way the policemen have treated the women, children and vandalized homes. The police have mentioned thousands unknown in FIRs and families fear that if they speak against police they will be named and arrested,” said a local from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
As the protesters marched to the district magistrate’s office, Sanjeev Balyan, Muzaffarnagar MP from the Bharatiya Janata Party, appeared at Meenakshi Chowk. Within hours, violence broke out in the area.
“The mob that gathered to oppose the Muslim crowd consisted of Hindutva elements and RSS and BJP workers,” said a former MP from the Congress party Saiduzzaman’s son Salman Saeed.
The police also took the help of communal elements and those people fired into the crowd. Over the past few weeks, several instances in which the Uttar Pradesh police have allegedly booked Muslims and dissenters in false cases, have come out in reports. Unlawful and lethal tactics are being used to harass and intimidate the citizens.