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Internet services suspended in 21 districts of UP as cops brace for fresh anti-CAA protests

The internet shutdown is a preventive measure in view of Friday prayers and possible protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Yogi Adityanath government has again, for the second time this month, suspended the internet services in 21 districts of the state till Friday midnight.

The internet shutdown is a preventive measure in view of Friday prayers and possible protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey told PTI that all mobile companies had been told to keep their services suspended.

He said the step had been taken to prevent hate-mongering on social media in view of violence in the state after the passage of the new citizenship law in Parliament.

The anti-social elements won’t be able to take advantage of the Internet to spread hatred and disturb communal harmony, the DM said, adding that the possibility of violence and arson could not be ruled out.

In Agra, Internet services will be suspended from 8 am to 6 pm on Friday, news agency PTI quoted Additional Superintendent of Police Ravi Kumar as saying.

Police took out a flag march in sensitive areas of Gorakhpur and held meetings with peace committees in all circle and police station areas. District Magistrate Vijyendra Pandiyan said paramilitary personnel and drones equipped with cameras will also be deployed to keep an eye on the situation.

UP DGP OP Singh said that the law and order situation is under control, adding that strategic deployment of forces is in place in the state.

The top cop further said that innocents will not be touched while the guilty will not be spared. Meanwhile, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe cases of violence during the recent protests against CAA in the state.

As per the Information & Communication Department of UP, 498 people have been identified in connection with the damage caused to public property during recent protests in Lucknow, Meerut, Sambhal, Rampur, Muzaffarnagar, Ferozabad, Kanpur Nagar, Mau and Bulandshahar.

Violence broke out in many parts of the state between December 19 and 21, claiming as many as 21 lives.

Although many of the bodies bore gunshot wounds, the state police insisted that they did not shoot anything other than plastic pellets and rubber bullets. They have owned up to opening fire only at Bijnore, where a 20-year-old civil services aspirant was killed.

As evidence, the Uttar Pradesh Police has reportedly released a series of photos and videos of violent protesters firing at the cops during protests against the Citizenship Act.

In photos released by the police, a man in a blue jacket is seen walking around with a gun. Another person was also captured in photos firing at the cops.

The videos released by the police are from Meerut that was rocked by violence on Friday last.