Protesting against the deteriorating law and order situation and power crisis in the state, BJP’s youth wing – Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) – workers fought a pitched battle with the police force, leaving several policemen, BJYM workers and even passers-by seriously injured.
The police resorted to gunshots, tear-gas shells and use of water canon to disperse the agitators who indulged in brick-batting and beating up cops and media persons.
BJYM state vice-president Rahul Mishra claimed over 40 party workers have been seriously injured while one has suffered bullet injury. He said the injured are undergoing treatment at KGMU Trauma centre, Balrampur Hospital and Civil Hospital.
Lucknow district magistrate Raj Shekhar, on the other hand, denied that the police opened fire on agitators and said they have not received information from the doctors that anyone has sustained gunshot injury. The police merely used water canons and tear-gas to overpower the agitators, he claimed. About 10 policemen suffered injuries in the violence while eight BJYM workers were injured in the clash, the DM added.
Inside the state assembly, BJP legislators stalled the proceedings protesting the lathi-charge on its youth workers, who had assembled in large number at the BJP state headquarters as part of the saffron party’s scheduled programme of protesting on 11-point agenda against Akhilesh Yadav government.
As the workers tried to make their way towards Vidhan Sabha where the assembly session was in progress, the police tried to stop them. The workers entered into a scuffle which soon turned violent when the agitators, reportedly carrying stones and sticks, attacked the police force. Some even hurled shoes inside the Vidhan Sabha compound.
Since the violence occurred on busy Hazratganj road, chaotic situation prevailed. Shopkeepers downed their shutters while traffic remained stranded for over two hours. Several passers-by and media persons were also targeted while several vehicles were damaged.
The police brought the situation under control after it called in additional force which forced the agitating workers to take shelter inside the BJP’s headquarters where party’s state president Laxmikant Bajpai made arrangements to send the injured workers to the hospitals. Bajpai announced that BJP workers will start demonstration across the state from Tuesday to protest the police action on Monday.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Satish Mahana raised the issue during Zero Hour, demanding immediate intervention of the state government. Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey first adjourned the House for 10 minutes, which was later extended for the whole day.
Rajnath silent, Kalraj blames SP
LUCKNOW: Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who was in Lucknow along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh \to attend various programmes, came out in support of party’s youth workers and instead blamed the state government for turning the protest into an incident of violence. “The state government turned the protest violent. The act is condemnable,” said Mishra. Rajnath, on the other hand, was tight-lipped when asked to comment on the violence, and remained so when media persons informed him that their vehicles were damaged by the BJP workers.