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Poet’s daughters among women booked for ‘rioting’ at anti-CAA protest in Lucknow

About 50 women began the sit-in demonstration on Friday but the crowds swelled on Saturday and the protest became ‘indefinite’.

SNS | New Delhi |

As hundreds of women continue to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Lucknow’s iconic Clock Tower, the police have identified and named around a dozen and registered three criminal cases against the protesters.

The protesters, mostly women, have been booked for “rioting, unlawful assembly, disobedience to order and obstruction in public way”.

Among the booked are daughters of poet Munawwar Rana — Sumaiya Rana and Fauzia Rana.

In three separate FIRs lodged late on Monday night at the Thakurganj police station, around 150 people, including 130 unidentified, were booked under Sections 147(rioting), 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly knowing it has been commanded to disperse), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 283 (danger or obstruction in public way) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), according to a report in India Today.

Meanwhile, Tina Yadav, the 14-year-old daughter of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, was also seen participating in the anti-CAA protest — which started on Friday afternoon — on Sunday and spent time talking to the women assembled at the Clock Tower.

The ongoing protest against CAA in Lucknow, on the lines of New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest, has gathered momentum and despite efforts by the police, the women have refused to budge from the site.

The women, most of them elderly, have claimed that the policemen snatched their blankets and poured water on the bonfire that they lit to keep themselves warm.

Rejecting the claims, the police in a tweet said, “During the illegal protest going on at Lucknow’s Ghantaghar Park (Clock Tower), some people tried to make a ‘gheraa’ (cordon) using ropes and sticks, and also tried to put sheets. They were not allowed to do so. Some organisations were distributing blankets in park premises. As a result of which, people living in the vicinity, who are not part of the protests, were coming to take the blankets.”

“Police removed those persons and organisations distributing blankets there, and action is being initiated against them,” the Lucknow police said while urging the people to not spread rumours.

In visuals captured on mobile phones, policemen were seen taking away blankets and boxes of what appeared to be food packets from the protest site on Saturday night amidst chaos.

The cops, some of them wearing helmets, were also seen taking away Styrofoam sheets meant to be spread on the ground for those who were to spend the night there.

About 50 women began the sit-in demonstration on Friday but the crowds swelled on Saturday and the protest became ‘indefinite’. Women, children and senior citizens joined the protest and several organisations also came out in their support.

Large gatherings are banned in Lucknow after the police imposed prohibitory orders late on Saturday night.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Lucknow in view of Republic Day and the Defence Expo and most importantly, the ongoing protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The move to impose the prohibitory orders was taken by Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey late Saturday night, who said that it had been done to maintain law and order in the coming weeks.