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Netizens Urge Indian State Chief to Quit for 'Disrupting' Protests Against Citizenship Law

© 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): India’s communally-sensitive northern state of Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of casualties during anti-citizenship law protests with demonstrations showing no signs of abating.

Furious over the fact that the Uttar Pradesh police were forced to -charge protestors demonstrating against a new citizenship law, Twitter users have demanded State Chief Yogi Adityanath should own his responsibility and quit, and the #YogiMustResign #YogiMassacre started trending.

In an unverified video, police could be seen attacking protesters that were walking peacefully. Twitter users termed the officials “goons” who turned peaceful protests into violent ones. The reactions were filled with demands asking the chief minister to step down and lift the internet ban in the state.

The police have kept social media under surveillance and more than 13,000 social media accounts have been identified by the UP state administration so far, for spreading incendiary content. More than 100 people have been arrested in the state for inciting violence through social media platforms.

Celebrated Indian actress Swara Bhaskar also came out in support of the people of UP, demanding answers from the State police and demanding that the state government be held accountable.

Meanwhile, another video that left netizens enraged was of police dragging an old and disabled man on street.

At the same time, a few users came out in support of the State government and its head, claiming that the videos were unverified and that the police were doing the “right thing”.

So far, a total of 5,400 people have been taken into custody and around 705 sent to jail in UP alone, media reports said. 

However, the Uttar Pradesh Police chief O P Singh said the police had no option but to resort to lathi-charges to stop protesters who used women and children as shields.

Refuting allegations that police open fired he added: "All the deaths took place in cross-firing and this will become clear in the post-mortem examinations."

Chief of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has often been branded as a “Hindu-hardliner” for his "anti-Muslim comments." In the past, for example, India’s election commission had banned him from election campaigning on similar grounds.

The new Citizenship Amendment Act is being slammed by protesters for being "discriminatory" against Muslim immigrants, as it stipulates awarding citizenship to non-Muslim minority immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who fled persecution in their countries and settled in India prior to 2015. Prime Minister Modi has strongly rejected these accusations, saying that the law is not anti-Muslim.

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