A 30-year-old businessman from Firozabad district in Uttar Pradesh died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Thursday, taking the toll in protests against the Citizenship Act to 18 people from the state, The Indian Express reported. With this, the overall toll across India rose to 25.
The businessman, identified as Muhammad Haroon, was undergoing treatment at the hospital in Delhi after he was shot in the neck during the protests on Firozabad Highway last week. He died around 12.50 am on Thursday, his brother-in-law Zaki Sheikh said.
Sheikh said Haroon was returning home to his village Naglamullah from Pachokhara last Friday when he was hit by a bullet. “He was returning home after selling a buffalo at a mandi in Pachokhara,” Sheikh told the daily. “On the Firozabad highway, there was violence and suddenly he was shot at – no one knows whether the police or the protesters had fired the shot.”
Sheikh said Haroon was not protesting and added that some witnesses took him to the hospital. “For three days, he was at a hospital in Agra and on Wednesday morning, we got him to AIIMS Trauma Centre,” Sheikh said.
“We have learnt from locals that one Haroon got injured in the violence and his family got him admitted at a hospital in Delhi,” Firozabad SP Sachindra Patel told the newspaper on Wednesday evening. “The police have no information how Haroon got injured and when he was taken to Delhi for treatment.”
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.
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.