Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has stirred the hornet’s nest yet again with his remarks on the violent anti-CAA protests in the state, in December, which claimed 19 lives.
Referring to the protests at Lucknow, Kanpur and Prayagraj, Adityanath while speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday (February 19), asserted that the “troublemakers” died due to firing among themselves and not by police bullet.
“Upadravi, upadravi ki goli se marey hain,” (the troublemakers died from bullet of another troublemaker),” he said.
“Police should be appreciated. If someone has come prepared to die, how can he be alive? If someone comes out to kill an innocent person and he is challenged by police, then either he or the policemen has to die. No one died of police bullet. A big conspiracy was revealed behind anti-CAA protests,” he said.
“Terror funding by PFI (Popular Front of India), which is another name of SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), has came to the fore. Any sympathy for them means support to PFI and SIMI. Those who do gaddari (treason) with country, will have gumnam maut (anonymous death),” he said.
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Questioning the intentions of anti-CAA protesters, he wondered why they were raising slogans of azadi (freedom).
“Do we have to work towards Jinnah’s (Mohammad Ali Jinnah) dream or do we have to work towards Gandhi’s dream? The police should be praised for their work after the December violence. There were no riots in the state,” he said.
Stating that his government is not against protests, Adityanath said it will also not tolerate violence. He said his government will instead talk to anti-social people in a language that they understand.
“If someone hides behind democracy to vitiate the atmosphere, if there is violence… woh jis bhasha main samjhega , us bhasha main samjhayenge (we will reply to them in their language),” he said.
He also claimed that the crime rate has come down during his regime.
Ironically, 23 deaths were reported during the anti-CAA protest in Uttar Pradesh, as stated in the 14-page memorandum filed by the Congress.
However, according to official figure, the toll stood at 19.
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Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav also alleged that all deaths during anti-CAA protests in Uttar Pradesh were caused by police bullets.
Public interest litigations (PILs) that alleged police atrocities during protests in Uttar Pradesh will be taken up on March 18.
In the petitions, it was alleged that excessive force was used by the police on protestors and that the action was unjust and violated the fundamental rights of protestors.