THE UTTAR Pradesh government has confirmed National Security Act (NSA) invoked against Congress MLA Ajay Rai, who is lodged at Fatehgarh Central Jail in connection with the violence that broke out during a protest march held by seers in Varanasi on October 5.
Varanasi District Magistrate Rajmani Yadav said, “The state government has confirmed NSA against Rai after the UP Advisory Board sent its advice in favour of slapping of NSA. We got the letter from the state government on November 11, confirming NSA on Rai.” The DM said Rai would now be behind the bars for one year.
The Varanasi administration had invoked NSA against Rai on October 13, which means the one-year term will end on October 12, 2016. Rai is the MLA from Pindra seat in Varanasi.
On October 5, Rai and other Congress leaders had allegedly accompanied Swami Avimukteshwaranand from Town Hall to Dashashwamedha Ghat during the ‘Anyay Pratikar Yatra’, called to protest against the lathicharge on sadhus and their followers in September over immersion of idols in the Ganga.
However, violence had erupted with some protesters setting vehicles and roadside kiosks on fire. Around a dozen vehicles, including police jeeps, were torched and several policemen and protesters sustained injuries.
Rai had flown to Delhi the same evening. He was arrested from the Varanasi airport upon his return the day after.
In September, sadhus and members of puja committees had staged a blockade demanding that they be allowed to immerse Ganesha idols in Ganga. The administration had stopped them from doing so citing Allahabad High Court order, which has banned idol immersion in Ganga.