There have been protests across the country against the newly amended citizenship law and have turned violent in BJP ruled states only.

Be it in Delhi, where the Union Home Ministry is in charge of law and order or Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP is in power, the protests have turned violent and people have died too. Could there be a well-oiled machinery comprising mainstream parties and radical groups that fanned the violence? The footage and the probes conducted in these places clearly suggest that there is a pattern and the violence was completely orchestrated.

A well-oiled network:

The Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh OP Singh gave out details regarding the protests that hit his state. He said that it was the radical groups and the mainstream political parties that had orchestrated the violence over the past 15 days.

He blamed radical groups and the political parties such as the Samajwadi Party for the violence in Western UP. Singh said that the violence at the Aligarh Muslim University on December 15 and Lucknow on December 19 were clearly the handiwork of these people.

The police carried out three key arrests in UP. The ones to be arrested are Mohammad Wasim, Nadeem Ali and Mohammad Ashfaq. During their interrogation, they told police that there was an elaborate plan to orchestrate the protests over the citizenship law and the NRC. They had largely used social media and WhatsApp groups to disseminate misinformation.

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The police have also been examining all the phones that were seized. This would help the police unearth the role of the opposition parties and radical groups in the riots. During the examination of some of the phones it was found that there was a clear attempt to disseminate misinformation.

It was found that in some of the WhatsApp groups, messages were being sent stating that some students at Jamia Millia University had been killed in police firing. This was clearly untrue, but this triggered off the violence at the Aligarh Muslim University.

They came with guns:

The recovery of 500 non-prohibited bore cartridges from the protest sites clearly reveal that the rioters had come well prepared to target the police. Police found that the rioters had come with country made pistols with an intention of targeting them.

These rioters with country made pistols were found at Sambhal, Kanpur, Lucknow, Rampur, Firozabad, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar.

Those blaming the police for the firing must bear in mind that the police do not use non-prohibited bore cartridges. The bullet injuries sustained by 66 policemen while trying to control the riots is also proof that non-prohibited ammunition was used. Further, UP Police also have an image which shows a masked man brandishing a pistol during the protests.

In Mangaluru, there was an attempt by the radical elements to break into a gun shop and steal the guns and bullets. There was a mob of around 20 which tried to break open the door of a gun shop under the Bandar police station limits. The police however managed to foil the attempt.

Stone pelting:

The police is also probing the incidents of stone pelting that took place during the riots. In riots that took place at Delhi, Mangaluru and UP, it became clear that the protesters had come to the site with stones.

It was a common operation in all three places, a Home Ministry official said, according to a report. In all three places, bags of stones were found at protest sites. In Delhi, after the mob was cleared out, the police found at least six bags of stones lying at the site.

In UP too, bags of stones were found at the protest sites. In Mangaluru, the police released video footage that showed an auto with a bag of stones arriving at the site. The rioters are then seen pulling down the bags filled with stones and pelting them at the police.

The MHA official said that this clearly shows that the intent was not to protest in peace. It also shows that the violence was not spontaneous in nature. They had all discussed these issues on WhatsApp groups, spread misinformation and pre-planned this, the official also said.

Many didn’t know:

Police sources say that the questioning of the various arrested persons threw up a surprising fact. Most of them didn’t know what they were protesting about. One of the arrested persons in UP even told police that he was asked by some persons to reach the protest site and pelt stones. He said that he was not aware of what was going on.

There are other cases in both UP and Mangaluru, where instances of the protesters being paid money to create violence have also been reported. Amounts between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 had been paid to some persons to deliberately incite violence. We are investigating this further and will get to the source of it. This makes it clear that there was a well-oiled machinery behind the protests and a great sum of money too had been pumped in to fuel the violence, a Mangaluru police officer stated.