Scores of people burnt the flag of China and an effigy of the country's president Xi Jinping as they protested outside the factory of Chinese phone maker Oppo in Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Saturday.
The protest was held to raise a call for boycotting Chinese products in the wake of the Sino-India face-off in Galwan Valley in Ladakh earlier this week in which at least 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, the protesters said.
The district police said it has lodged an FIR against 32 protesters, including 30 unidentified people, who participated in the protest in violation of the restrictions on such gatherings imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of farmers' body Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) and right-wing outfit Hindu Raksha Dal were also part of the protest.
"It was an act of cowardice by China against our soldiers. 20 of our soldiers got martyred and others were injured. Hence, to oppose Chinese products, we have burnt effigies of Chinese products and China's president Xi Jinping. We also set on fire a flag of China, one of the protesters from the farmers' group said.
"All members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union are ready to fight. There is anger across the country and also among people in Noida. We will burn effigies like this in protest," the protester said.
The Hindu Rashtra Dal said the country is "hurt" by the loss of its soldiers in Ladakh and that is why its members are protesting.
"No Indian should buy OPPO phones and the (Indian) government is requested to close down all Chinese companies operating in India so that China can be taught a lesson and thinks twice before attacking our country," the group said in a statement."
Videos and pictures of the protest surfaced on social media which purportedly showed the demonstrators wearing face masks and covers but social distancing went for a toss amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Saturday evening, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police said it has lodged an FIR against Hindu Raksha Dal president Bhupendra Tomar alias Pinki Chaudhary and the group's district-unit convenor Praveen Kumar.
"The two have been named in the FIR, while 30 others unidentified people have been booked for gathering outside the OPPO company's gate without any permission and information to local authorities amid COVID-19 pandemic," the police said in a statement."
The FIR has been lodged at the Ecotech I Police Station under Indian Penal Code section 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a government official), it said.
The protestors were also booked under IPC sections 279 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) besides the Epidemic Diseases Act, it added. There was no response from OPPO to a PTI query on the issue.
The Chinese phone maker had resumed operations in its Greater Noida facility earlier this month after staying shut during the initial phases of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The factory had briefly resumed operations in May but had to shut down after six workers had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar Police had on June 1 extended till June 30 the curbs imposed across Noida and Greater Noida under CrPC section 144 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Political, social, sports or religious congregations, protest rallies or processions will remain banned across Noida and Greater Noida during the lockdown period, the police had said in an order.