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Man shot at while cops, anti-CAA protesters clash in Aligarh

Following the violence, the administration also suspended internet services in Aligarh till midnight as a precautionary measure.

 

A 22-year-old man was shot at and injured by a miscreant amid clashes that broke out in the old city area in Aligarh on Sunday between anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters and police after incidents of arson and stone pelting, said officials.

The clashes led police to fire teargas shells to disperse the mob indulging in vandalisation of property and throwing stones at security personnel in upper Kot area of the Kotwali police station, said Aligarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh.

 

Following the violence, the administration also suspended internet services in Aligarh till Sunday midnight as a precautionary measure, Singh added.

The violence broke out at a spot on the Mohamed Ali Road leading to the Kotwali police station where some women protesters were holding a dharna since Saturday with the police trying to evict them from there, he said.

The trouble began around 5 pm when the police tried to persuade women protesters at Upper Kot near Kotwali to evict them from the road, he said.

“We told them that women protesters were already holding a protest at Eidgah and they would not be permitted to hold another such protest near Kotwali,” said Singh.

He said ‘even as efforts were underway to convince women to leave the area with prominent Muslim citizens of the area, including the Sahar mufti Abdul Khalid trying to defuse the situation, mayhem broke out and brick-batting started..’

The district magistrate said police used tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

“An electricity department transformer was set afire but police managed to douse the flames before they could spread,” he said.

Describing the situation in Upper Kot area as ‘tense but under control’, Singh said ‘an intense patrolling of the affected areas is underway and the police are trying to trace out those who were ‘instigating’ the women protesters at Upper Kot since Saturday.

There were also reports of injuries to some people but the exact number of those injured in clashes is yet to ascertained, said official sources.

One of the injured included 22-year-old man Tariq, whose father and brother told police that he suffered bullet injury by a ‘miscreant’ who opened fire at his brother amid the clashes between police and protesters.

Tariq was admitted at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital at Aligarh Muslim University, where doctors described his condition as ‘serious’.

The victim has suffered a bullet injury in the stomach, they said.

Tariq’s father told police at the hospital in presence of this PTI reporter that his son was standing in front of his house when he was shot at by a miscreant whom he recognises.

The clashes in the old city area broke out shortly after a Bhim Army-led march by hundreds of anti-CAA protesters heading to the district collectorate earlier were stopped midway by police and Rapid Action Force jawans.

Stopped by police, the protesters, however, had headed towards the Eidgah area in the city where another group of anti-CAA women protesters had been holding an indefinite dharna for the past three weeks.

As the Bhim Army-led protesters, including women, were stopped by police from moving ahead after they crossed over the Katpula Bridge from the old city, they decided to join women protesters in the Eidgah area.

The protesters had taken out the march on a call by Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar.

Shops in some areas near Kotwali had downed their shutters.

Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Rajmuni, who took over the charge as the district police only last night, had earlier told mediapersons that following the abortive march, an FIR has been lodged against three persons at the Delhi Gate police station for trying to violate prohibitory orders and breach peace in the city.

The new SSP said he was monitoring the situation arising out of the anti-CAA protests, going on both at the AMU and the old city area.

He had said our ‘channels of communications with protesters are going to remain open but it does not mean we will allow anybody to disturb the city’s law and order’.

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