Violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests claim 11 lives in Uttar Pradesh, high alert sounded; schools, colleges shut

Clashes with police rocked Gorakhpur, Bulandshahr and other parts of the state on Friday while thousands rallied in Delhi to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.

Violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests claim 11 lives in Uttar Pradesh, high alert sounded; schools, colleges shut
Image Courtesy: IANS

New Delhi: At least 11 people have died and several were injured in Uttar Pradesh during violent protests across the state against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. Clashes with police rocked Gorakhpur, Bulandshahr and other parts of the state on Friday while thousands rallied in Delhi to protest against the amended Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Till Friday night, six people were reported to be dead in the clashes, but the toll rose to 11 this morning. The anti-CAA violence killed two people in Sambhal, two in Bijnor and four others in Varanasi, Bijnor, Kanpur, Agra and Meerut. A person succumbed to his injuries in Firozabad during treatment and two others died in other cities during the protests.  

A high alert has been sounded in the state which has seen violent protests against CAA. On Thursday, an angry mob set a bus on fire in Sambhal. A police vehicle and bike were set ablaze in Lucknow and a police station was also vandalised. 

Section 144 has been imposed across UP in view of the prevailing law and order situation.

Schools and educational institutes have been shut in most parts of the state due to the protests.

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There were standoffs at police barricades in half a dozen towns in Uttar Pradesh. At least 32 people were injured in clashes between police and stone-pelting protesters. Uttar Pradesh Police chief OP Singh said that none of the deaths on Friday were due to police shooting and confirmed the arrest of nearly 144 people.

Mobile internet and text messaging services of all telecom operators remained suspended in Lucknow and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh in the wake of protests. In Lucknow, the suspension was announced on Thursday.

Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi had on Thursday night issued an order to suspend the services till Saturday noon. Internet services were also not available in Sambhal, Aligarh, Mau, Ghaziabad, Azamgarh and Bareilly districts. Authorities said they shut the internet in parts of Uttar Pradesh state to prevent publication of inflammatory material.

Protests erupted in different parts of the country including Uttar Pradesh over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.