Stone-pelting, arson in Aligarh after anti-CAA protesters turn violent

Kashmir Times. Dated: 2/24/2020 12:39:33 AM

ALIGARH, Feb 23 (Agencies): Clashes broke out between the police and anti-CAA protesters in Aligarh's old city area late Sunday after the police tried to evict a group of women agitators.
Following the clashes between the police and protesters, internet has been suspended for six hours from 6 pm.
The police fired tear gas to disperse the mob indulging in vandalism and throwing stones at personnel in upper Kot area of the Kotwali Police Station, police sources told aencies. The protesters pelted stones at personnel and also tried to set ablaze a transformer near the Jama Masjid, Aligarh district magistrate Chandrabhushan Singh told a national news agency.
The violence broke out at the spot where some women protesters were holding a dharna since Saturday on the Mohamed Ali Road leading to the Kotwali Police Station with the police trying to evict protesters, Singh said. The trouble began when the police, around 5 PM, tried to persuade women protesters at Upper Kot to leave.
"We told them that women protesters were already holding a protest at Eidgah and they would not be permitted to hold another such protest near Kotwali," said Singh. He added, "Even as efforts were underway to convince women to leave the area with prominent Muslim citizens of the area, including the Sahar Mufti Abdul Khalid trying to defuse the situation, mayhem broke out and (stone-pelting) started.."
Describing the situation in Upper Kot area as "tense but under control" Singh said, "An intense patrolling of the affected areas is underway and the police are trying to trace those who were "instigating" the women protesters at Upper Kot since yesterday."
There were reports of some injured, but the exact number is yet to ascertained, Singh said. Shops in some areas near Kotwali had downed their shutters.
The Aligarh district magistrate ordered that the internet services be suspended in the city till midnight.
Earlier in the day, a Bhim Army-led march by hundreds of anti-CAA protesters heading to the district collectorate earlier was stopped midway by police and Rapid Action Force jawans. The protesters had taken out the march on a call by Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad.
After being stopped by the police, the protesters had headed towards the Eidgah area in the city where another group of anti-CAA women protesters has been holding an indefinite dharna in the Eidgah area for the past three weeks.
Aligarh SSP Rajmuni, who took the charge only last night, earlier told media that following the abortive march, an FIR has been lodged against three persons at the Delhi Gate police station for trying to violate prohibitory orders and breach peace in the city.
The new SSP said he was monitoring the situation arising out of the anti-CAA protests, going on both at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and the old city area. He had said our "channels of communications with protesters are going to remain open but it does not mean we will allow anybody disturb the city's law and order."



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