Law

Video Contradicts UP Police's Claim of Not a 'Single Bullet' Fired at Anti-CAA Protesters

At least 16 people, including an eight-year-old, have so far lost their lives in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Uttar Pradesh.

New Delhi: While the Uttar Pradesh police have been vehemently claiming that not even a “single bullet” has been fired even though anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 protestors have sustained bullet injuries, a new video has emerged which shows a police officer wielding a revolver and opening fire.

At least 16 people, including an eight-year-old boy, have so far lost their lives in the protests against the CAA in Uttar Pradesh. Several of them have bullet injuries, but top UP police officials have vehemently denied that they have fired even a single bullet.

UP police chief O.P. Singh had told NDTV on Saturday, that cops “did not fire a single bullet“.

The Indian Express reported that Singh had claimed that all the deaths were due to “cross firing”. “All the deaths have been in cross-firing and this will become clear in post-mortem… Women and children were used as shields by protestors…We are clear on this. If anyone died due to our firing, we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side.”

Also read: CAA Protests: UP Police Detain, Threaten, Beat Up Activists, Journalist in Lucknow

However, the emergence of the video has shown that this claim may not be entirely accurate.

A policeman is seen in the video holding a revolver and a baton, walking towards a street corner. He then takes aim and shoots in the direction of the protesters. There are at least two photographers following him, who are apparently taking photos. In the backdrop, someone can be heard saying, “Maaro saalon ko (Kill them).”

The UP police have claimed that only protesters are using firearms, asserting that 57 policemen have been injured.

“Over 400 empty cartridges have been recovered across UP. It proves that protesters were firing with country-made weapons and that those who died in their fire were either innocent by-standers or part of the mob themselves,” Uttar Pradesh inspector general (law and order) Praveen Kumar said, as per NDTV.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, passed earlier this month, makes religion a criterion for giving fast-track citizenship to persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The protesters have claimed that the Union home minister Amit Shah has repeatedly made connections between the CAA and National Register of Citizens which shows that there is a more sinister aim behind the entire exercise. The government has claimed that there is no link between CAA and the NRC process, which BJP ministers have said will be implemented nationwide.