Twenty-five people have reportedly lost their lives due to police action in the ongoing protests against the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.
Uttar Pradesh has seen the highest number of deaths after police allegedly fired on protestors.
Even though protests have been organised in almost all states across the country, deaths have been reported only in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states – Assam, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
Activists allege that huge gatherings in other states have been peaceful and without any incidents of violence, accusing the BJP of disproportionate police action on protestors.
Major protest demonstrations broke out on 19th December across Uttar Pradesh. The Indian Express reported that out of the 18 people who have been killed, 14 were of Muslim identity.
The most tragic death out of all was of 8-year-old Mohammad Sageer, the youngest victim of the police crackdown. He died in a stampede that followed after the UP police lathi-charged at a peaceful protest in Varanasi.
These are names of those who died due to bullet injuries in UP as reported by The Indian Express,
- Wakeel (32) in Lucknow
- Aftab Alam (22) and Saif (25) in Kanpur
- Anas (21) and Suleiman (35) in Bijnor
- Bilal (24) and Shehroz (23) in Sambhal
- Jaheer (33), Mohsin (28), Asif (20) and Areef (20) in Meerut
- Nabi Jahan (24) in Firozabad
- Faiz Khan (24) in Rampur
Another person named Rashid (35) succumbed to head injuries in Firozabad, and a 28-year-old HIV patient succumbed to firearm injuries sustained during Friday’s (December 20) protests in Kanpur, TheWire reported.
Faiz Khan was reportedly shot in the abdomen, his brother Faraz Khan told The Indian Express. Jaheer, Mohsin, Asif, and Areef succumbed to firearm injuries on Friday (December 20).
When Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on their way to meet the bereaved families of the six killed in Meerut, they were stopped on their way and not allowed to make any statement regarding the Meerut violence.
The Print spoke to the families of Anas and Suleiman who lost their lives in police firing at Nehtaur in the Bijnor district of UP. Suleiman was a UPSC aspirant and Anas was the father of a 7-month-old child. “He went out only to buy some milk. He had nothing to do with the protests,” Anas’s father Arshad Hussain had said.
UP police have claimed that the protesters who died were hit with country-made bullets. “They said, 405 empty cartridges, fired by protestors, have been recovered till now. The autopsies of the 18 dead reveal that most of the deceased were hit by these country made bullets,” India Today reported.
The families of the deceased, however, rubbished this claim and allege that they died in police firing. A video too contradicts the official line that the police fired no bullets.