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Indian Minister Seeks to Punish Uttar Pradesh Cop Who Asked Muslim Protesters to ‘Go to Pakistan’

© REUTERS / REUTERS TVProtesters pelt stones at police personnel during clashes over citizenship law in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India December 20, 2019 in this still image taken from a video
Protesters pelt stones at police personnel during clashes over citizenship law in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India December 20, 2019 in this still image taken from a video - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed deaths in the ongoing protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), with at least 19 people dying in violent demonstrations.

India’s Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday demanded action from the Uttar Pradesh state government against a senior police officer who allegedly made some objectionable remarks against protesters in a Muslim locality in Meerut.

A video clip shows Meerut’s Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Narayan Singh taking a broadside on a few Muslim men and telling them to “Go To Pakistan”.

In the video clip posted on social media, the cop who visited the Muslim locality with several other anti-riot security personnel, is seen asking residents to convey his message to protesters, particularly to four men who raised Pakistan flags during their protest against CAA.

Slamming the policeman's remarks, Central Minister Naqvi said, “If it is true that he made that statement in the video, then it is condemnable. Immediate action must be taken against him…Violence at any level, be it by police or by mob, is unacceptable. It can't be a part of a democratic country. Police should take care that those who are innocent should not suffer".

In the video, Meerut’s Superintendent of Police Singh, wearing riot gear can be seen saying “Go To Pakistan”, while being surrounded by three Muslim men in a narrow lane.

Singh is further heard saying that since he now has the chance, he will set the residents of the lane right. He also claimed he will comb the locality for rioters and lock them up. Yet again referring to Pakistan, he is heard saying in the video, “If you do not want to live here then go away. You come here but you sing the praises about somewhere else?"

In his defence, however, Singh on Saturday said his Pakistan jibe was only directed at those who were chanting pro-Pakistan slogans during protests against the citizenship law.

“Some people saw us and shouted pro-Pakistan slogans. This made it clear they were up to some mischief. They ran inside the lane. We found some other people and we scolded them. But we spoke to them about the boys. They had come from the same lane. When they shouted pro-Pakistan slogans, we retaliated", Officer Akhilesh Narayan Singh said on Saturday after the video emerged.

The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has seen a surge in violence as protesters continue to oppose the Citizenship Law, which grants Indian citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Sikh minorities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The legislation, however, doesn't extend to Muslims - something which many see as a violation of the Indian Constitution. The country's prime minister, Narendra Modi, has vehemently denied these claims, saying that the law doesn't discriminate against Muslims. 

His Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan has, meanwhile, stressed that Islamabad would not accept Muslim refugees from India in the wake of a curfew imposed by New Delhi in the disputed region of Kashmir.

The state police have identified 110 rioters and released a poster with their photographs. The state administration has also sent notice for compensation to the vandals who were identified defacing public property. According to reports, at least 288 police officers have suffered injuries in clashes with protesters.

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