The Uttar Pradesh Police have put out a series of reward posters and videos to identify those allegedly involved in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act last week, NDTV reported on Wednesday.
At least 17 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, and 24 in the country, over the past two weeks during clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Act protestors. A media report said on Wednesday that the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor had detained at least five minors last week, and tortured them for 48 hours.
In one of the videos taken in Meerut, a man in a blue jacket is seen walking around with a gun. The police said they retailated because of the attacks they faced from “violent mobs” between December 19 and 21. They have also announced a reward of Rs 25,000 each for information on three wanted persons in Kanpur, Firozabad and Mau, according to The Indian Express.
The police had earlier claimed that they had not fired even a single bullet at protestors – until figures confirmed by some officials to The Indian Express showed that at least 14 people killed during clashes in parts of the state since December 19 had succumbed to “firearm injuries”. However, an official on Tuesday admitted that he shot a protestor in “self-defence” during protests in Bijnor district.
In Mau district, police have released a poster carrying photographs of 110 people. These people were allegedly involved in the violence when vehicles were set on fire and stones were thrown at police. “Three FIRs were lodged in connection with the incident in which 21 people have been arrested so far,” Mau Superintendent of Police Anurag Arya told the newspaper. “We identified 110 other miscreants involved in the violence. Since we have no information about these 110 people, we released posters carrying their photographs.”
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that those who destroyed public property and were involved in violence should “introspect” about whether what they did was right.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma had claimed the police suffered heavy losses during the protests that erupted last week. “As many as 288 policemen were injured in violence that erupted across 21 districts,” he had said at a press conference. “Sixty-two of them suffered firearm injuries.”
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens have engulfed India in the past two weeks. The protests saw peaceful marches as well as intense clashes between the police and the demonstrators.