Uttar Pradesh had become a hotbed for violence after the newly-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) came into force. The anti-CAA rioters in several parts of the state including Rampur resorted to large scale violence, arson, stone pelting, damaging public property to the tune of almost Rs 15 lakh.
Merely a few days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath 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 Rampur Police have issued notices to as many as 28 locals across Rampur district, holding them responsible for acts of violence and causing damage to government property.
According to an India TV report, the police have sought an explanation as to why recoveries should not be made for damage worth Rs 14.86 lakh. The notice cited damage to the government properties to the tune of Rs 14,86,500. It lists, among others, a police jeep of Bhot police station (Rs 750,000), motorcycle of a sub-inspector (Rs 65,000), motorcycle of City Kotwali police station (Rs 90,000), wireless set, hooter/loudspeaker, 10 dandas, three helmets, three body protectors.
Commenting on the development, Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said notices were issued to 28 people after the police found their role in protests.
“We issued notices to 28 persons whose role were found by police during the investigation. Police submitted evidence against them. They (28) have been asked to submit their response within a week, otherwise, the process of recovery against them will be started. Of the 28, a few have been arrested while raids are on to trace others. An accused and his family can submit evidence to support their plea that they have been wrongly booked in the case,” Singh said.
According to the district administration, notices were issued after the state government issued an order based on a direction from the Allahabad High Court.
Earlier, 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.
Uttar Pradesh had turned into a war zone last week, wherein the Muslim mobs resorted to vandalism and had gone on a rampage against the police officials taking the death toll in the state to 16. The rioters have destructed several public properties while indulging in stone-pelting to attack police officials. Altogether, since the violence began, 925 people have been arrested across the state, the police said.
The Uttar Pradesh police have videos, photographs, CCTV footage of those involved in the anti-CAA protests, the police said.
Yesterday, the Rampur police had also produced pictures and video footages of one incident as evidence, where Parvez, a driver and close associate of Samajwadi Party strongman, Azam Khan could be seen hurling stones at the police personnel.
Condemning the violence and protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in parts of Uttar Pradesh and parts of the country, Yogi Adityanath had said people cannot indulge in violence in the “name of protests”. The UP CM had assured that strict actions will be taken against hoodlums who have been trying to create unrest in his state and various parts of the country.
Further, the UP government has also formed a four-member panel to look into the videos of riots and identify vandals in the state capital Lucknow. As per police, stringent action will be taken against perpetrators once identified.