Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had broken out in several districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday leaving at least 17 people dead and moveable and immoveable assets damaged, mostly in arson. Days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had warned of strict action, the Uttar Pradesh government has now sent recovery of damage notices to 28 residents.
According to Indian Express, on Tuesday, notices were issued to 28 people, including an embroidery worker and a hawker of spices who are already in custody, the administration, while holding them responsible for acts of violence and damage to government property, has sought explanation on why recoveries should not be made for damage worth Rs 14.86 lakh.
The notice states that loss of property worth Rs 14,86,500 has been cited. It lists, among others, a police jeep of Bhot police station (Rs 750,000), motorcycle of a sub-inspector (Rs 65,000), motorcycle of City Kotwali police station (Rs 90,000), wireless set, hooter/loudspeaker, 10 dandas, three helmets, three body protectors.
Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said notices were issued to 28 people after the police found their role in protests. Singh told the Indian Express, “We issued notices to 28 persons whose role were found by police during investigation. Police submitted evidences against them. They (28) have been asked to submit their response within a week, otherwise the process of recovery against them will be started. Of the 28, a few have been arrested while raids are on to trace others. An accused and his family can submit evidence to support their plea that they have been wrongly booked in the case.”
The police have assessed the total damage to property to the tune of Rs 15 lakh so far which would be compensated by those involved in its destruction, a senior official said. The process is underway to attach the properties of those identified so far, he said. "More than 150 people have been identified so far for causing damages to public and private property. Parvez, a driver and close associate of former state minister Azam Khan, is also seen in pictures and video footages hurling stones at the police personnel," Rampur Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma told PTI.
Along with UP, several parts of the country have witnessed protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed implementation of a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for grant of citizenship to persecuted minority Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jain, Buddhists and Parsis from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have taken refuge in India before December 31, 2014. Critics say the law is against the country's secular ethos as it leaves Muslims out of its ambit.
(Inputs from Agencies)