Fearing violence over protests by the opposition parties against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at least two Lucknow Metro Rail stations were closed for commuters on Thursday.
While the K D Singh Babu Stadium metro station was closed till evening on the basis of a report from Lucknow Police with regards to CAA protests, another metro station in downtown Hazratganj was shut to ensure the safety of commuters after protesters had reached its vicinity, an official source told Business Standard.
Meanwhile, Outside Broadcasting (OB) vans of some news channels apart from public and private vehicles were allegedly vandalised and set ablaze by violent protesters at the busy Parivartan Chowk area here. The mobs also indulged in stone pelting, in which some policemen, including officials, were also injured. Protests were also held in the Old City areas here.
Among the frontline protesters were the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress activists, apart from some other social and community organisations to register their anger against CAA.
Even as prohibitory orders under section 144 continued to be enforced across UP in view of the protest call given by different opposition parties, reports of violent protests were also received from other parts of the state, including Sambhal district, where vehicles were set afire by mobs.
Since, the Winter Session of the UP legislature is on, the opposition members opposing the CAA indulged in slogan shouting ahead of the scheduled sitting of the two houses of the state legislature this morning.
Yesterday, the UP Police had issued an appeal to general public to desist from protests and unlawful assembly in view of the enforcement of section 144.
Besides, the government had ordered for the closure of all schools till standard XII on Thursday and Friday due to the prevailing cold wave, which also helped in keeping the roads empty during peak schools hours as well while protesters were running amok.
In the backdrop of protests by students in some educational institutions in UP, state Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh had urged the parents to counsel their wards on the issue and prevail upon them to stay away from protests, which the government has already alleged is being fanned by the opposition and other vested interests for political reasons.
Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath government reiterated that those responsible for violence and destruction of public and private properties today would not be spared and dealt with stringently under the law.