The police has registered an FIR against at least 135 people, of which only 35 have been named, for allegedly protesting against the amended citizenship law in Bilariaganj area of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, reported news agency PTI.
Quoting a senior police officer, PTI also reported the arrest of 20 people.
The FIR registered against the protesters lists 17 charges, including sedition and rioting, according to documents accessed by The Quint.
“FIR has been registered against 35 named and over 100 unidentified persons involved in anti-CAA protests on Tuesday, 5 February, near Jauhar park in Bilariaganj area. Of them 20 have been arrested,” Superintendent of Police, Triveni Singh told PTI.
Around 200 women, who had gathered to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh city, were lathicharged and tear-gassed by the police in the wee hours of Wednesday, 5 February.
People, most of whom were women, had started gathering at Maulana Johar Ali Park in Azamgarh’s Bilariyaganj area since the morning of 4 February. Around 300-400 people had reportedly gathered there before the police clampdown.
Local sources also told The Quint that the police forcibly entered the homes of the boys involved in the protest and beat them up, before detaining them. The exact number of detainees are yet to be known.
Those present at the spot say that the police reached the site of the protest around 1 am on 5 February . Protesters further allege that the police brought buses with them, after which they lathi-charged them and hurled tear gas at around 4 am.
There were reports of stone-pelting as well.
Yasmeen Khan, a protester, told The Quint that there were around 150-200 women who were peacefully protesting against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). She confirmed that the protesters were only offering namaz when the police personnel surrounded them from all sides.
“They used all their force to remove us from the protest site and when we did not give up, they caught the men and started beating them. Then, they pelted bricks and stones on us before resorting to lathicharge. This left many women injured.”Yasmeen Khan, Protester
Hafiz Danish Falahi, an eye-witness has confirmed to The Quint that a woman sustained serious injuries on her head and is reportedly in a critical condition. The witness also said that children were injured in the chaos.
“Women were protesting peacefully throughout the day. At night, when the administration could not convince them to stop the protests, they lathicharged the women. In that process one woman sustained serious injuries on her head,” he said.
The police also poured gallons of water on the protest venue to stop more protesters from converging there.
The Uttar Pradesh police are yet to react to the incident.