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Azamgarh: Police have booked 135 people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act for sedition and arrested 20 of them in the city’s Bilariaganj area.

In the FIR, only 35 people have been named and the rest are unidentified, police said. The FIR lists sedition among the charges.

The protesters accused the police of thrashing them. Police, however, said they used tear gas shells to tackle the protesters when they became unruly.

“The FIR has been registered against 35 named and over 100 unidentified persons involved in anti-CAA protests on Tuesday near Jauhar park in Bilariaganj area. Of them 20 have been arrested,” Superintendent of Police, Triveni Singh, said

He said Tuesday’s protest against the CAA was led by Ulema Council national general secretary Tahir Madni, who was arrested on Wednesday.

The officer said a reward of Rs 25,000 each has been announced on absconding Ulema Council leaders Nurul Huda, Mirza Shane Alam and Osama.

He alleged that the protesters used foul language against Hindus and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An NGO in Azamgarh has alleged that nineteen people including minors were beaten up and arrested from Bilariaganj area when they were “peacefully” protesting against the amended citizenship law.

“The women were peacefully protesting at Mohd Ali Park. When the women got up from the spot to offer namaaz, the policemen started hurling abuses at them. They even threatened them. The policemen started creating tensions. They beat up the protestors and also pelted stones at them,” Zakir from Al Falah Front, the NGO, said here.

“Women have been beaten up severely, pulled by their hair. One Sharavari Bano was brutally beaten up in front of protestors. She is under treatment at Azamgarh hospital now,” he said.

The NGO claimed that Maulana Tahir Madani was allegedly pressurized to stop the protests and threatened with dire consequences.

The 135 people have been booked under various sections of IPC including the charge 124 A (Sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity), violating prohibitary orders, 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 186 (Obstructing public servant), SP said.

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