Lucknow: Stories of police excesses, which had got suppressed due to internet blackout, are filtering out, now.
A video surfaced on Sunday in which a cop is purportedly seen firing from a handgun in Kanpur which was among the cities where fresh violence erupted on Saturday.
Director General of police OP Singh has maintained all along that not a single bullet was fired by the police, although there have been 16 deaths in the state in the last three days -- some due to bullet injuries.
The DGP, in fact, had claimed that 57 cops were injured in the gunfire suggesting that the protesters were armed and thereby attributing the deaths to “cross firing” among rioters.
Another story is that of Sadaf Jafar, a mother of two and a Congress spokesperson. On December 19, when protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act erupted in Lucknow, Jafar was the only woman to be arrested, along with 150 others, including former IPS officer S.R. Darapuri and theatre actor Deepak Kabir.
At the time, Jafar was streaming a Facebook Live video, and asking the police to arrest stone-pelters. The police apparently took offence at the critical videos accusing the police of inaction during the clashes.
But, now, she has been charged with 18 serious offences, including inciting violence and damaging public property. Her sister Naheed Verma has alleged.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to twitter to demand the immediate release of Jafar. She said, "Our activist was telling the police to grab the miscreants but she was picked up and beaten up by the UP police....Such repression will not do.’’
Revenge on city
Another story is about 60 shops in Muzaffarnagar which were sealed in the crackdown by the State administration on Saturday. This followed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's resolve to exact “revenge” from protesters.
"We will take revenge on them. All properties of those involved in damaging public assets will be seized and auctioned to compensate for the losses," the CM had said on Thursday.
The administration, it is understood, has set up a 4-member panel to assess the damage to public properties to recover the losses. These people are being identified through video footage and their pictures will be put on all major road intersections
Two RSS men, Vikas Jalan and Satya Prakash, were allegedly seen among the mob damaging shops and throwing stones at the police in Gorakhpur.