Protest after Friday prayers turns violent, curfew in Allahabad
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Curfew was imposed in Allahabad's Kotwali police station area on Friday after mobs protesting against alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar smashed about 20 vehicles.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Allahabad) Mohit Agarwal said the organisation or the group of people responsible for the violence were yet to be identified.
"An organisation had given a call for protest against the alleged atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar and Assam. However, we had requested the organisation to withdraw the same; the call was withdrawn two days ago. We are trying to identify the organisation or the group of people who were behind today's protest and violence," said Agarwal.
Other officials, however, said the withdrawn appeal was not about staging a protest, but handing over a memorandum to the District Magistrate.
"The appeal was made by some youths who appeared to have formed a forum. When the police intervened, they decided to cancel their initiative," said Circle Officer (Local Intelligence Unit), Irfan Ansari.
The police claimed that curfew had been imposed as a prohibitory measure and the situation was under control with Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel deployed in the Chowk area. An FIR was also being registered and the accused would be booked under the National Security Act, said Agarwal.
It all started after the afternoon prayers of Friday around 3 pm when a 1,000-strong crowd, some of them wearing black bands on their heads, began moving from Kareli area of the city towards Ghanta Ghar in Chowk. The protesters, mostly carrying placards, had assembled at Mustafa Complex in Kareli, where a mosque and some shops are located, the police said.
"The police managed to stop the marchers when they reached Sabzi Mandi. However, some youngsters broke away from the group and went further ahead damaging vehicles on the way. In Chowk area, eight vehicles were damaged," said Agarwal.
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