Lucknow: At least 11 people, including an 8-year-old boy, have lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh as the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent in the state.
However, police chief OP Singh on Saturday maintained that cops ‘did not fire a single bullet’ at the protesters, suggesting that those who died were caught in cross-firing between protesters.
”Stones were thrown, arson was reported. The protesters fired illegal weapons. I don’t think the police had any other option. But I should make it clear that nowhere did the police resort to firing and not a single bullet was fired at the protesters. Protesters died in firing among themselves. This will become clear after the postmortem,” OP Singh told NDTV.
He further assured that if any person was killed in police firing, a probe will be ordered.
“We are clear and transparent about this. If anyone died due to our firing, we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side,” he asserted.
On Friday, protesters clashed with police at several places in the state, hurling stones at them and torching vehicles, in which fifty policemen were also seriously injured.
“A child died in a stampede in Varanasi where children were present in a group of protestors, who ran when police lathi-charged them. These children do not know what citizenship is and they were present there with stones,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.
Protests against the Citizenship law, which critics allege discriminates on the basis of religion, have rapidly spread across the country with thousands of people agitating on the streets.