‘If one comes with intention to die, how will he live’: UP CM on anti-CAA protestors
CM Adityanath alleged that people involved in violence during the anti-CAA protest enjoyed political protection.
Blaming protesters for violence and deaths during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state late last year, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said not much could be done to save someone who was intent on dying.
“Agar koi marne ke liye aa raha hai to woh zinda kahan se ho jayega (If someone is coming with the intention to die, then how will that person remain alive),” he said even as the Opposition parties in the UP assembly alleged that 24 people died in the anti-CAA protests across the state.
“When someone comes out on the street with the intention to shoot people, then he dies or the policeman dies,” the chief minister said, speaking on the motion of thanks to governor Anandiben Patel’s joint address to the legislative assembly and legislative council.
No one had died from a police bullet, he said, adding that all those who died fell to troublemakers’ bullets.
Alleging that people involved in violence during the anti-CAA protest enjoyed political protection, he said children of a senior opposition leader also joined the mob that raised anti-India slogans.
“Azaadi’ (freedom) slogans were raised by the protesters. The people know what ‘azaadi’ they want. The protesters wished to realise the dream of Jinnah whereas we have work to fulfil the dreams of Gandhi,” he said.
Hitting out at the Opposition in his two-hour-long speech, Adityanath said the state government was not against demonstrations or dharnas till it was peaceful and protesters did not indulge in violence. He also said the anti- CAA protest in the state was planned.
Asserting that the state had not witnessed communal violence since the BJP came to power in 2017, he said, “If someone tries to vitiate the atmosphere then we will reply them to in their language (wah jis bhasa mein samjhega, us bhasha main samjhayenge).”
The action against anti-social elements organising violent protest had exposed a conspiracy against the state government, he said, adding that terror funding had come to light during a probe by security agencies.
Popular Front of India (PFI), a changed form of SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) was funding the protest, he said, adding that the Opposition parties should not have sympathy for anti-national elements.
Adityanath said he failed to understand why there were protests against CAA.
“What is wrong with the Act? The BJP has not drafted CAA, but the Act was framed in 1955 after the Nehru-Liyaqat pact. The Partition pained people and a large population suffered,” he said.
Earlier, the Opposition parties demanded a judicial probe by the sitting judge of the Supreme Court or high court into the violence during anti-CAA and alleged police atrocities on the protesters.
Leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary (Samajwadi Party) said 24 innocent people were killed in police firing in various districts.
Anti-social elements joined the protesters and indulged in violence, he said, adding that sit-ins had continued for over a month but no one from the state government held talks with the protesters.
Public interest litigation petitions that alleged police atrocities during the anti- CAA protests will be taken up in the Allahabad high court on March 18.
In a hearing on February 17, the state government had told the high court that 22 people died during the anti-CAA violence in the state. FIRs were lodged against 883 people on the charge of arson and destroying public property and 561 people were granted bail.
The state government provided the figures to a high court bench comprising chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Siddhartha Varma hearing a bunch of petitions against police action during the anti-CAA protests.
The petitioners had alleged police atrocities and mentioned the recovery notices that the state government had issued.