The Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) on Monday demanded withdrawal of cases lodged by the Uttar Pradesh government against women protesting against the contentious Citizenship Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.

BSP supremo Mayawati tweeted, “Wrong cases filed against women and others protesting against CAA/NRC by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government should be immediately withdrawn, and those who lost their lives during this time should also be extended proper help. This is the demand of BSP.”

Women have been staging protests in different parts of Uttar Pradesh, including at the historic Clock Tower in Lucknow, demanding scrapping of CAA and NRC.

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”.

“A case has been registered against 10 women and 100 unidentified women for violating Section 144 of CrPC, while protesting at Ghantaghar. Apart from this, eight persons have been arrested,” Station House Officer of Thakurganj Police Station Pramod Mishra had said on Saturday.

Lucknow’s Clock Tower has become aanti-CAA protest site replicating Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, near Jamia Millia Islamia. It has become a prominent protest venue for people opposed to the CAA and the NRC since December 15.

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 and later at JNU and AMU.

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.

Nearly 20 people have been killed in the state after violence erupted during anti-CAA protests last month.