The district administration of the Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh has issued notices to 59 alleged rioters for allegedly damaging public property during the anti-CAA protests.
The Additional District Magistrate Kamlesh Awasthi confirmed the development saying that the administration has served notices on 59 people for the damages worth Rs 15.35 lakhs caused to the public property. When asked about those who were served notices claimed innocence, Awasthi replied that the notices have been served and the people involved will have to answer. He added that everyone will be granted a full opportunity of hearing.
Talking about the vandalism that was witnessed in Sambhal district during the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the District Magistrate Avinash Krishna Singh said, “A bus was torched during riotous anti-CAA protests. Preliminary investigation reveals that public property worth Rs 15.25 lakhs was damaged. 59 miscreants have been identified based on video clips, CCTV footage and photographs. The damage caused to the government property will be retrieved from them.”
However, some of those served notices have claimed that they have been wrongfully targeted by the administration. Asan Abdullah, who was served notice by the district administration said that he did not participate in the violent protests held in the town on December 19. Similarly, another resident, Syed, who runs a school claimed that he too wasn’t the part of the mob that vandalised government property during the protests. He stated that the government had slapped a Rs 11 lakh notice despite the fact that “they never went outside their house”.
The Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath had already made it amply clear that it plans to reclaim damages from the rioters indulging in arson and vandalism during the anti-CAA protests. According to the Uttar Pradesh director general of police, OP Singh, at least 320 cases have been filed against the rioters, about 1113 people have been arrested and 5558 taken in preventive custody so far.