The Uttar Pradesh Police held anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protesters responsible for the death of 18 people in violence since Thursday. More than 1,000 rounds were fired by protestors, they claimed on Saturday.
Police said that 405 empty cartridges, fired by protesters, have been recovered till now. The autopsies of the 18 dead reveal that most of the deceased were hit by these country made bullets, they claimed.
As city after city in Uttar Pradesh burns over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the death toll in CAA-related protests has now reached 18 in the state. Police said at least 18 people, including an eight-year-old boy, lost their lives in the state since Thursday in the state.
Earlier, speaking on deaths caused in violence, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh claimed women and children were used as “shields by the protestors”. He maintained that police did not open fire and suggested the deaths were due to cross firing between protestors.
OP Singh said, “We did not shoot even a single bullet,” adding, “We are clear and transparent in this. If anyone died due to our fire we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side.”
On Friday, clashes with police were reported from Bhadohi, Bahraich, Amroha, Farurukhabad, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Hapur, Hathras, Bulandshahr, Hamirpur and Mahoba districts and cases were registered.
After the violence turned intense, the UP police initiated an investigation to nab those responsible for stir in the state that killed over 200. OP Singh had said: “It is a part of some conspiracy. Some NGOs and people affiliated to politics are also involved. A team is investigating it and we will find the truth.”
Police claimed that many outsiders were involved in violence and they are being identified through CCTV footage in the affected area. A notice, with a copy CCTV screengrab attached, is being served to suspected individuals. Police are also taking legal advice on how the loss will be recovered from protestors who damaged the public property.
To recover the loss, the Yogi Adityanath-led government has decided to form teams of four members who will be responsible for confiscating the property of identified rioters in Uttar Pradesh. The committee will assess the damage of public and private property done during protests in the state. The move comes after CM Yogi Adityanath announced that those damaging property will not be spared.