The Meerut police have arrested the alleged mastermind of December 20, 2019 violence in the city. The police nabbed Anees Khalifa, an alleged member of the Popular Front of India, from Lisari Gate area on Tuesday night. A 9 mm pistol, a country-made pistol, and some cartridges have been recovered from Anees, police said.
Meerut police had earlier released CCTV videos and photographs which purportedly showed Anees firing at policemen on December 20 when the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) had turned violent in four areas under police station in Meerut.
SSP Ajay Sahni had declared a reward of 20,000 on Anees. Talking to reporters, SP (City) Akhilesh N. Singh said Anees had admitted to his crime. During interrogation, he revealed that he lost his brother during 1987 communal riots in police action. Perhaps, he harboured hatred against the police, he said. A cloth merchant, Anees has a criminal record. Police claim he was part of the bigger conspiracy of the PFI to brainwash the youth and fire at the police.
Meanwhile, Anas of Rashid Nagar was arrested by police after a tip-off. He is also accused of firing at police on December 20.