Aligarh Protest Clash: Internet Suspended, Tear Gas Fired, Lathis Used, Rapid Action Forces Deployed

The clashes took place away from Aligarh's Delhi Gate area, where a 24-day-long peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is being held.

India   |   24 Feb 2020 8:03 AM GMT
Editor : Prateek Gautam
Aligarh Protest Clash: Internet Suspended, Tear Gas Fired, Lathis Used, Rapid Action Forces Deployed

Image Credit: TV9 Telugu

Violence broke out on February 23 between police and anti-CAA protesters in the Uparkot Kotwali area of Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh resulting in stone-pelting, a portion of a shop in the area being set on fire, a police vehicle being vandalised and some police officers being injured.

A motorcycle belonging to one of the policemen was also allegedly set ablaze by 'protesters.'

Following the clashes, the mobile internet was suspended for a six-hour period starting at 6 pm. This suspension is likely to be extended as authorities try to restore order. Aligarh Muslim University students gathered to block the Aligarh-Moradabad Highway in protest against the cops' actions.

According to the cops, the clashes took place after some protesters, who had gathered outside a police station to ask for permission to erect tents for protection against bad weather, allegedly threw stones and vandalised the vehicle of a local police officer - the Station House Officer, prompting the cops to respond with a lathi-charge and fire tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

The clashes took place away from Aligarh's Delhi Gate area, where a 24-day-long peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is being held.

On February 22, women protestors from that site had approached the police for permission to erect tents as protection from bad weather as it had rained in Aligarh on Friday. But the permission was denied and the anguished women began an impromptu sit-in protest outside the Kotwali Police Station.

The Aligarh District Magistrate said that the police had made attempts to persuade the women to disperse but they had refused to do so. Failing this, the police had attempted to forcibly remove the women from the site.

Speaking to reporters after the incident, Aligarh District Magistrate, Chandra Bhushan Singh, told reporters the violence was under control and the mob had been dispersed.

"The violence started around 5 pm when a local police officer's vehicle was pelted with stones. Soon after, the mob started throwing stones at us. To disperse them, we had to use tear gas shells. The situation is under control," Singh said, adding that the cops were also investigating the role of Aligarh Muslim University students in instigating the crowd.

A Rapid Action Force (RAF) of UP Police has been deployed.

"We have held peace meetings and asked Muslim community leaders, including the Imam of the Jama Masjid, to act as interlocutors," Singh added.

At least two people received bullet injuries during the violence. Both have been admitted to hospital and are in stable condition.

The police say that the injuries are the result of firing by unidentified "miscreants" and have confirmed they will investigate the matter.

Also Read: Stone Pelting In Delhi's Maujpur As Clashes Erupt Between Pro, Anti-CAA Protesters, Police Fire Tear Gas Shells

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