Citizenship Law: UP govt to seal assets of protesters

Lucknow: As a first step towards making protestors pay for causing damage to public properties during agitations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Uttar Pradesh government has begun the process of identifying the vandals, with the Lucknow district administration forming a four-member panel to assess the damage.
The additional district magistrate (east) has been made the in-charge of assessing the damage to various property in eastern part of the city, Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash told PTI.
Similarly, the additional district magistrate (west) and additional district magistrate (trans-Gomti) have been assigned the task of evaluating the loss in their areas. Additional district magistrate (administration) has been given the task for the rural areas, the Lucknow DM said.
The Rampur district administration is also taking steps to attach assets of 25 people, identified as ones vandalising public properties during violent protests against changes in the citizenship law, officials said on Sunday.
A 22-year-old man had died of bullet injury received during the violence in Rampur on Saturday in which several locals and policemen were injured. Six vehicles, including a police motorcycle, were torched, they said.
“We have got CCTV footage and so far identified 25 people involved in the violence. FIRs are being registered and the process to attach their properties and further actions as needed has begun,” Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Singh told PTI.
He said around a dozen protestors were detained after stone pelting and arson during a bandh call in the city, but some of them were released after inquiry.
The Gorakhpur police had on Saturday released photographs of around 50 people allegedly involved in protests against the amended citizenship law here after the Friday prayers. The police said the troublemakers have been identified from the video footage.
“Around 50 people involved in the violence have been identified through video footage and their pictures will be put up all crossroads and major spots,” Kotwali Circle Officer V P Singh had said.
The move comes days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that properties of all those involved in violence would be confiscated to offset the damage.
Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had broken out in several districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday leaving at least 17 people dead and moveable and immoveable assets damaged, mostly in arson.
Along with Uttar Pradesh, several parts of the country have been witnessing protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed implementation of a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for grant of citizenship to persecuted minority Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jain, Buddhists and Parsis of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have taken refuge in India before December 31, 2014.
Critics say that by leaving Muslims out of the ambit of the law, it violates the Fundamental Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution and is against the secular ethos of the country.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said that wrong-doers would be identified with the help of CCTV footage, video clips and photographs. The action is based on a Supreme Court order that rioters would be strictly made liable for the damage, and compensation would be collected to make good the damage.
Adityanath had said that property of those involved in violence would be seized and auctioned to compensate for destruction of public assets during the protests over the amended citizenship law.

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