UP cops chase away women protesting against CAA in Etawah district
Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district ‘chased’ away demonstrators, especially women, who were protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) early on Wednesday, people who took part in the stir said.
Several hundred people, including women, have also been booked for disobeying government order and unlawful assembly.
The police action has come at a time when protests led by women against the CAA and NRC have intensified across the state.
Women in Prayagraj started a sit-in protest on the lines of the ongoing protest at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi, followed by similar protests in Lucknow.
On Tuesday, police officials said, women in Etawah and Azamgarh stepped out in huge numbers and took out a processions. They did not even heed to the administration’s requests to clear the road and blocked traffic, said a senior police official, who was not willing to be named.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Akash Tomar said, “They wanted to sit on a protest like Shaheen Bagh and were planning to obstruct the road. We were trying to negotiate, but a large number of people, including men, joined the protest by midnight. When we were making efforts to keep the road clear, some stones were pelted on us. Fearing that the situation could worsen, we chased away protesters from the site.”
Meanwhile, a 17-second clip has gone viral, in which women are seen asking cops why they are being chased away. Some other videos have also gone viral in which cops wielding lathis are seen chasing protesters away. Locals said cops asked some shopkeepers to down their shutters and chased the protesters who had taken shelters inside these shops.
“Police used force against us while we were holding a peaceful protest. Our brothers and cousins were beaten up and we were abused. We have a right to protest,” a woman protester said.
Police have lodged an FIR under IPC sections 188 (disobeying government order), 141 (unlawful assembly) and 353 (deterring public servant from performing duty) against 12 identified and more than 700 unidentified persons, including around 300 women, Tomar said.