The Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police (DGP) OP Singh has alleged that radical Islamic groups and mainstream political parties could have been involved in orchestrating riots across the state during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, senior IPS officer OP Singh has said that members of radical Islamic organisations – Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political front, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), including political parties like Samajwadi Party were involved in instigating Muslim mobs to indulge in violence across the state during the anti-CAA protests.
Three people associated with the radical Islamic organisation PFI, including UP state head Waseem, have been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for orchestrating violence by spreading misinformation through social media platforms. Singh said that the violence in AMU on December 15 was largely instigated by WhatsApp messages and Twitter posts stating that some Jamia Millia Islamia students were killed in police firing on December 15 in Delhi.
“All the three arrested PFI office bearers — state head Mohammed Waseem, Nadeem Ali and Mohammad Ashfaq — have during interrogation disclosed elaborate plans to orchestrate protests over both CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens). The PFI activists have used social media largely to disseminate misinformation through WhatsApp and other platforms,” Singh told HT.
DGP Singh told Republic that while it is too early to say anything, a conspiracy has indeed taken place to instigate riots. He also clarified to HT that the police entered the AMU campus only after they had received written permission from the VC. He said trouble had been building up in AMU as the vice-chancellor himself informed the police in writing about the possibility of protests two to three days before the events of December 15.
“We have already arrested the SP’s Sambhal MP for instigating violence and are examining call details from the seized phones to unearth the role of opposition parties and radical groups in the violent protests,” the DGP said. Recently, the Uttar Pradesh police registered a case against several accused persons including Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Shafiqur Rahman Barq and Feroz Khan for indulging in violent protests in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh.
According to Singh, rioters have damaged public property worth around Rs 100 crore in seven districts during the protests. Singh said the UP police have arrested 865 people and filed 135 cases in connection with the protests. He added that some of the protestors used country-made pistols to target the UP Police and as many as 500 non-prohibited bore cartridges were recovered from the protest venues in Sambhal, Kanpur, Rampur, Lucknow, Aligarh, Firozabad, Muzzafarnagar and Meerut.
Uttar Pradesh had turned into a war zone last week after Muslim mobs had unleashed violence in the state and pelted stones targeting public properties and police officials, injuring several of them.
Following the violence, the Uttar Pradesh government had taken strict against the culprits by attaching their properties for causing violence. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced tough measures to combat the anti-CAA rioters and promised to seize the property of every rioter and use its funds to repair the damaged public property.
The UP government had sealed 50 shops belonging to rioters in Muzaffarnagar who caused damage to public property. The sealed shops are all in the trouble-hit Minakshi Chowk and Kachchi Sadak areas of the town.
The Citizenship Amendment act seeks to give Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from three neighbouring Islamic countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.