A local court has granted bail to 14 people who were arrested in connection with violence during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar.
The bail pleas were allowed by the District judge Sanjay Kumar Pachori on Friday. He directed that they be released after furnishing two sureties of Rs one lakh each.
The prosecution charged that the accused were arrested and sent to jail for allegedly being involved in the violence that broke out during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 20 in Kotwali police station area.
The police has also arrested many others in the district in connection with the incident and imposed the charge of inciting children to pelt stones on 33 people.
Meanwhile, police has registered a case against unidentified people for allegedly disseminating fake news, through social media and newspapers, of sexual assault with a madrassa student during police custody following the December 20 violence here during the anti-CAA protests.
Police said a case was registered on Friday under section 22 of the POCSO Act against unidentified people for allegedly spreading false news pertaining to a child’s sexual assault and misusing the law.
The case was registered after a complaint was filed by a person in this regard, police said, adding that the madrassa committee has said no incident of sexual assault with any of its students took place.
Ten students of the Madrassa Hoja Ilmiya here were arrested by police following the violence but they were later granted bail by a court after the SIT probing the incidents said there was no evidence against them.
Uttar Pradesh witnessed some of the worst protest-related violence, where media persons were attacked and OB vans were razed in Lucknow in December. Similar acts of violence and arson were reported from places such as Sambhal in the state.
Even as prohibitory orders are in place across the state, many incidents of violence were reported Muzaffarnagar, Bahraich, Bulandshahr, Gorakhpur, Firozabad, Aligarh, Meerut, Kanpur and Farukhhabad as thousands took to the streets to protest against the CAA. Section 144 — that prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area – was imposed in the state.
As per the reports, at least 3,000 people across UP were arrested in connection with the protests.
Protests against CAA that were earlier confined to the northeast, had swept the country last month in December after several protesters, including students clashed with the police in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia on December 15, 2019.
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and have arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.