Demonstration against the Agnipath program: UP police arrest 387 people and file 34 FIRs

As protests against the Centre’s Agnipath program continued in Uttar Pradesh for the fourth straight day on Sunday, with reports of violence in the eastern districts of Chandauli and Deoria, police said on Sunday that it had so far arrested 387 people and registered 34 FIRs in connection with the violent protests that erupted on Friday.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, UP police said that of the 387 people arrested, 145 were arrested under Article 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of similar offences) of the CrPC. Other arrestees were arrested under various sections of the IPC, including riots and damage to public property.

In Chandauli, young people set fire to a private vehicle during a demonstration on Sunday before being dispersed by the police. A senior police official said three people had been taken into custody in connection with Sunday’s incident which occurred under the jurisdiction of Alinagar Police Station in Chandauli.

“Protesters threw stones for a few minutes, but the situation was brought under control.” said a police officer.

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In the Barhaj neighborhood of Deoria, youths gathered and pelted the police with stones and bricks.

“All sensitive places have been identified and a heavy force has been deployed. These students communicated through a WhatsApp group and gathered at the Barhaj ring road and started throwing stones and shouting slogans against the Agnipath program. Then they headed for a gas pump and carried out some vandalism there. We will file an FIR based on a complaint from the fuel pump owner,” said Barhaj SHO Jai Shankar Mishra.

Another police official said, “The youths also apparently stole money from vendors at the gas pump and set fire to two vehicles there. Ten people have been taken into custody and are being questioned.

Saharapur Police on Sunday arrested five “fake army aspirants” for allegedly planning violence and protests at the district railway station. The five were identified as Munnu aka Mainpal (23), Arjun (19), Deepak (19), Shubham Kumar (24) and Deepak (19).

In a statement, Saharapur SSP Akash Tomar said, “We have arrested five fake army aspirants under the jurisdiction of Rampur Maniharan Police Station. Of the five, two are political party leaders, and the others are members. They incited genuine aspirants to the army to protest. One of them is the district head of a party’s youth wing, and another was a member of another party’s zila panchayat. They are sent to prison and we ensure that action is taken against the instigators of the army candidates.

Ballia police said on Saturday evening that they had so far arrested 124 people in connection with the violence and arson at Ballia train station on Friday morning during a protest against the Agnipath project. A carriage of a parked train was set on fire on Friday by young people.

Ballia SP Raj Karan Nayyar said the defendants were arrested for rioting, endangering the life or personal safety of others, etc. and had been sent to prison. “They were booked by the GRP,” Nayyar said.

Nine Directors of Aligarh Coaching Centers Detained

Luck now: Aligarh police have arrested nine directors of army training institutes for allegedly inciting young people to protest against the Agnipath programme.

Aligarh had witnessed violent protests on Friday against the recruitment scheme. The demonstrators had blocked a highway and set fire to vehicles.

“The role of the directors of the coaching institutes has come to light during the interrogations of other defendants. We have arrested nine directors of coaching institutes,” SSP (Aligarh) Kalanidhi Naithani. They were counted under various sections of the CPI, including damage to public property.

According to Circle Officer (Khair) Rakesh Kumar Shisodiya, the directors of the training center told the aspirants via social media to come to the protest site on June 17. So far, the police have arrested more than 90 people and 40 have been arrested for breach of the peace. ENS