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Varanasi authorities to ask protesters to pay for damage to public property

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Protest against ‘Agnipath scheme’ for recruiting personnel for armed forces, in Varanasi | Photo: Reuters

The administration here is in the process of identifying those involved in the violent protests over the Agnipath military recruitment scheme and will recover from them the loss caused by damage to public property, an official said on Tuesday. District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said 36 buses were damaged and a loss of Rs 12.97 lakh was incurred in the protests on June 17. He said 27 people have so far been held in this connection, adding that more people have been identified for their alleged role in the stir.

“The authorities will recover from them the loss caused by damage to public property during the protest,” the official said. He also said that more information about those involved in such acts is being collected from government employees, ‘secret’ sources in rural areas of Varanasi and from officers in other districts. Appealing to the youth, Sharma said they should not be “misled” and indulge in any such chaotic work which may spoil their future.

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“If they indulge in any kind of illegal activity and are caught, they will be deprived of government jobs and will also have to compensate for the loss of public property,” he said. The district magistrate further said three FIRs have been registered at Sigra police station, two at Jaitpura police station and one in Cantt Varanasi in connection with the protests.

He said after preparing the full claim proposal containing the names of 27 people along with their photographs, video evidence has been sent to the claims tribunal in Prayagraj constituted for the recovery of damages to public property. During the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019, the authorities in Uttar Pradesh had similarly sought the recovery of damages to government property.

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