At least nine people died in clashes with the police as violence over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act spread to 14 locations across Uttar Pradesh on Friday, taking the national death toll in the protests over the newly enacted law to 17 so far.
Three people died in Meerut, two in Bijnor, and one each in Varanasi, Ferozabad, Sambhal and Kanpur on Friday.
Three people, one in Lucknow and two in Karnataka’s Mangalore, were killed on Thursday. Five deaths have been reported from Assam in the agitation so far.
An eight-year-old boy died in Varanasi on Friday after a lathi-charge by police led to a stampede. Uttar Pradesh director general of police (DGP), OP Singh, said at least 50 policemen were also injured across the state in “heavy” stone pelting by protesters returning from Friday prayers at mosques.
The Uttar Pradesh Police, in anticipation of possible trouble on Friday, placed around 3,305 people under house arrest and took another 200 into preventive custody.
The administration also imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits unlawful assembly of more than five people, in at least 16 districts of India’s largest state. Police also denied permission for any protest against the CAA or the police action in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.
Starting Friday morning, mobile internet services were also suspended in many parts of the state.
Uttar Pradesh Police officials said the pattern of violence was the same across locations: Larger than expected processions that started off peacefully, but then turned violent with protesters hurling stones at policemen and destroying public property, forcing a reaction. The state police also denied firing on protesters.
In some locations, protesters also burnt vehicles and damaged public property.
The government has deployed central paramilitary forces and the Rapid Action Force in all the sensitive areas in the state, he added, after a review meeting called by chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
A government spokesperson said all educational institutions in the entire Uttar Pradesh would remain closed on Saturday, December 21.