Lucknow police registered a fresh FIR against 22 people and 100-150 unidentified persons on Monday for allegedly rioting, damaging Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) monument and raising “inciting slogans” against the police and administration in connection with the Lucknow anti-CAA riots in December last year.
The FIR read that several women defaced and damaged the historical Ghanta Ghar monument and organised an illegal protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the spot on January 17, 2020.
According to the FIR, two persons who were out on bail in connection with the December 19 arson and rioting in the state were felicitated by the protestors at Ghanta Ghar on Saturday.
On March 14 (Saturday), two of the 57 people, whose photographs have been plastered across the city by the administration for recovery of money for the damage to public properties, were felicitated by the protesters at Ghanta Ghar.
“An illegal protest against CAA and NRC is going on by some women and women’s organisations at Lucknow’s Ghanta Ghar, which is in a heritage zone. These people are damaging the beauty of the monument by hijacking the stairs there and by putting nails in the walls there for their posters and banners. Encouraged by these women, several men are also raising inciting slogans against police and the government. These acts are affecting the parks and environment around Ghanta Ghar. There are a lot of tourist spots and religious places near Ghanta Ghar and several tourists from the country and outside come there. We have also received complaints from tourists of misbehaviour, fights and looting by those protesting. The complaints are under investigation,” the FIR registered on a complaint of Pramod Kumar Mishra, Station House Officer of Thakurganj police station stated.
Police said that two accused named in the FIR registered on Monday, Ebad Khan and Nitin Raj, have been arrested. In the last seven days, Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 23 people involved in the Lucknow anti-CAA riots perpetrated in December last year. Moreover, action against 27 people has been taken under the Gangster Act.
The Lucknow police on March 14 imposed the the “Gangster Act” against those arrested for violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on December 19 last year.
On lines of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, groups of Muslim women with children had squatted near the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in Lucknow’s old quarters protesting against CAA, NRC on December 19, last year. Despite efforts by the police, the women have refused to budge from the site.
Besides Delhi, protests had unfolded in several parts of the country over the Citizenship Amendment Law since it was passed on December 11 and has led to clashes at several places including Uttar Pradesh.