Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Friday justified the police crackdown on protestors in the state during the agitations against the amendments to the Citizenship Act, saying the action has “shocked” every protestor into silence.
The chief minister’s office in a series of tweets promised strict action against all those who were indulged in violence.
“Every rioter is shocked,” Adityanath tweeted. “Every troublemaker is shocked. Everybody has fallen silent after seeing the strictness of the Yogi Adityanath government. The chief minister has announced that anybody who damages public property will have to pay up. Every violent protester will cry now because there is a Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh.”
There have been massive protests against the amended citizenship law and at least 26 people have died in the protests – 19 of them in Uttar Pradesh. The police in Lucknow arrested at least three dozen people in connection with the violence on December 19. The police have also been accused of using excessive force to deal with the demonstrators.
“After seeing the all-powerful form of Yogi Adityanath’s government, every rioter must be thinking that he has made a big mistake by challenging Yogi’s authority,” the chief minister’s office said in another tweet. Adityanath called it a “shining example” of how violent protests should be handled.
On December 19, Adityanath had said that his government would “take revenge” against those who were involved in arson and vandalism by confiscating and auctioning their property as compensation for the damage to public and private property. The state government has issued notices to people who it believes were part of the violence.
Prominent citizens from the Muslim community in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district have given the district administration a cheque of over Rs 6 lakh for the violence, according to NDTV.
A government press release also said that clerics in the neighbouring district of Muzaffarnagar have apologised to the local administration for the violence that took place there during the demonstrations.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. It has been widely criticised as being discriminatory for excluding Muslims.