UP Budget session: Anti-CAA stir – Oppn seeks judicial probe into deaths, violence

Maulshree Seth

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at the state Assembly in Lucknow on Friday. (Photo: Vishal Srivastav)

The opposition parties united in the state Assembly Friday during the ongoing budget session to raise the demand for a judicial probe into the deaths as well as instances of violence that took place during protests against the new citizenship law in several parts of the state. Alleging that firing was done by police, opposition said that they do not trust police or CBI probe and thus demanded a judicial probe by a sitting judge of either the Allahabad High Court or the Supreme Court into the death cases.

MLAs of opposition parties moved into the well of the House raising slogans against the government and demanded that CAA-NRC should be withdrawn. They alleged that some masked men had indulged in violence, while actual protesters were protesting peacefully and also alleged that now protests by women were being targeted.

Opposition leader Ram Govind Chaudhary said, “There should be a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of either the Allahabad High Court or the Supreme Court, only then will it become clear who indulged in firing.”

While Chaudhary also alleged during Zero hour that the ruling party was targeting a particular community, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna denied the allegations and said that of 75 districts in the state, action was taken only in few where violence had broken out.

He said the police would not sit with their hands tied if someone takes law into their own hands, puts lives at risk and also destroys public and private property.

BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma, who also demanded judicial probe into the incidents of violence and deaths during anti-CAA protests, also raised the issue of recovery notices being sent by the state government.

Congress Legislature Party Leader Aradhna Mishra also supported the demand of the Leader of opposition and alleged that the government was “anti-women”, the way it was “targeting women sitting on peaceful protest.”

However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna refuted all the allegations of the opposition and alleged that it was opposition, which had incited people.

“The allegations of opposition are baseless. When someone takes law in their hands, life of people is at risk, would police sit quietly keeping hand in hand.” Said Khanna, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also present.

Khanna said 61 policemen were seriously injured during instances of violence, which included eight in Rampur alone. He also informed the House that 434 FIRs were lodged related to the protests, in which 4875 people were named and 1,635 were arrested.

In a reply to BSP, which alleged that recovery was biased, Khanna cited a 2011 government order issued during BSP regime, which spoke about recovery of damage during protests and said that their government was just implementing the order.