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Akhilesh Slams UP Police for Snatching Blankets, Food Supplies of Anti-CAA Protesters in Lucknow

The women protesters on Saturday night alleged that the policemen deployed on the spot had forcibly taken away the blankets arranged keeping in mind the cold weather.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:January 19, 2020, 11:11 PM IST
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Akhilesh Slams UP Police for Snatching Blankets, Food Supplies of Anti-CAA Protesters in Lucknow
The women protesters on Saturday night alleged that the policemen deployed on the spot had forcibly taken away the blankets arranged keeping in mind the cold weather.

Lucknow: The protests by women against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the pan-India implementation of the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the iconic Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in old Lucknow area continued on the third day on Sunday, with the number of protesters swelling up to more than two thousand.

On the lines of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, around 50 women along with their children squatted near Ghanta Ghar to protest against the amended citizenship law and the NRC.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday slammed the Uttar Pradesh Police, who on Saturday night cracked down on protesters by snatching their blankets, utensils and food items.

“The taking away of blankets and food supplies of the peaceful protesters by the UP Police is a violation of a constitutional right. It is a symbol of the growing frustration of the BJP that is becoming increasingly unpopular,” said Yadav in a tweet.

A 27-second video clip emerged on social media, purportedly showing a policeman carrying blankets and sheets in a plastic bag. A woman could be seen in the video shouting at him and calling him "thief", but the police personnel did not respond to it. The protest at Ghantaghar started on Friday night.

The women protesters on Saturday night alleged that the policemen deployed on the spot had forcibly taken away the blankets arranged keeping in mind the cold weather. Not only were the blankets snatched, the police also took away food and reinforcements.

After criticism, the Lucknow Police issued a clarification on the incident, saying a few people had tried to put up sheets, using ropes and sheets, during the "illegal protest" at Ghanta Ghar. "A few organisations were distributing blankets near the protest spot, which attracted people who were not even a part of the protest. Police removed the people who were distributing blankets along with the blankets. Kindly don’t spread any rumours,” it said in a tweet.

Lucknow's Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey also dismissed the allegations levelled by the protesters.

The BJP said the protest by the women was "sponsored by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party".

UP BJP spokesperson Chandramohan in a statement said, "The protest by the women is sponsored by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. During the anti-CAA protests in December, unruly elements indulged in violence under the patronage of SP and Congress. The UP government acted tough on these unruly elements, and seized their property after identifying them. This action made the SP and the Congress agitated."

Chandramohan said the people have understood the activities of both these parties and this is the reason that despite efforts of these parties, "only a handful of Muslim women are staging a protest".

"These Muslim women are not getting support even from their own family members. SP, BSP and Congress have been using the Muslims as their puppets. These parties use the Muslims only for votes, but have not done any work for their welfare," he said.

Meanwhile, Section 144 was also imposed ahead of Republic Day celebrations in the state capital.

According to the amended CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The law excludes Muslims.

(With inputs from PTI)

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