The Rampur administration issued notices to 28 people on Tuesday after damage of nearly Rs 25 lakhs was assessed across the district.
New Delhi: Over 60 people have been “identified for violence” in last week’s anti-citizenship law protests in Rampur and Gorakhpur districts and issued notices, asking them to explain their position or pay for the damage caused to public and private property. Last week, over 60 shops in western Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar were sealed as part of the crackdown. The crackdown comes after chief minister Yogi Adityanath vowed to “take revenge” against the rioters.
The decision to recover damages from the alleged rioters was taken on December 21. It’s based on a 2010 order by the Allahabad high court that allows the administration to recover any losses from those who had caused it. On December 19, the CM had said there was no place for violence in a democracy. “In the name of opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Congress, SP and Left parties have pushed the entire country into a fire,” he had said. “There was violence in Lucknow and Sambhal and we will deal with it strictly. All property of those who damaged public assets will be seized and auctioned to compensate for the losses.” The CM also said that those who damaged public property were caught on camera.
The Rampur administration issued notices to 28 people on Tuesday after damage of nearly Rs 25 lakhs was assessed across the district. The police had initially said the damage was worth around Rs 15 lakhs, but the final assessment put the figure at Rs 25 lakhs. Among the 28 people issued the notices are an embroidery worker and a hawker – both were arrested for violence during protests on December 21.
Rampur district magistrate Aunjaneya Singh said notices were issued to 28 people identified for violence in the protests. “They have been given seven days to respond on why action should not be taken against them, failing which proceedings will be started to recover money from them for destruction of public and private property,” he added.
A 22-year-old man died of a bullet injury in Rampur on Saturday during the iolent protests against the amended Citizenship Act. Several locals and policemen were injured, and six vehicles, including a police motorcycle, were reportedly torched. So far 33 people have been arrested and over 150 others identified in connection with the violence in Rampur.
The Gorakhpur police too has sent notices to 33 people allegedly involved in the violence during the anti-CAA protests in the district on Friday. The police said FIRs against 1,000 unidentified persons have been registered. The police has pasted the pictures of people involved in the violence and announced informers will be rewarded. So far, 26 people have been sent to jail and many others have been picked up on the basis of photos released by the police. A senior police officer said notices are being served to those offenders who have either fled their homes or are untraceable.
CO (Kotwali) V.P. Singh said the accused persons have been asked to reach police stations through the notice to clear their role by Thursday. “In case they fail to appear, their property may be attached,” he added.
On Wednesday, a district administration team visited the violence-hit areas — Reti, Nakhas and Ghantaghar — and assessed the loss caused to public property during the violence. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was also constituted on Wednesday to probe cases of rioting registered during the recent protests against the CAA. The SIT that will go into the cases of violence in Kanpur will be headed by additional SP (crime) Rajesh Yadav, IG (Kanpur range) Mohit Agarwal said. The SIT was set up on the directive of the UP DGP for conducting a fair probe into violence. As many as four cases — three with the Beckonganj police station and one with Babupurwa police station — have been transferred to the SIT.
A senior district official said that the SIT would be better equipped to deal with the electronic gadgets to track down culprits, especially as social media and WhatsApp were used to bring the alleged rioters together. The team will be given access to all data from areas under the police stations where clashes occurred, Kanpur’s senior SP Anant Deo Tewari said.
Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had broken out in several districts of UP on Thursday, that left at least 17 people dead and assets damaged, mostly in arson.