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Lalganj wants to hit back for Azamgarh ‘blot’

It’s not so much Azamgarh,but the adjacent Lalganj Lok Sabha constituency,which may bear the brunt of the resentment over the arrest of alleged IM activists for blasts across the country.

Written by Bhupendra Pandey | Lucknow |
April 16, 2009 2:24:00 am

It’s not so much Azamgarh,but the adjacent Lalganj Lok Sabha constituency,which may bear the brunt of the resentment over the arrest of alleged IM activists for blasts across the country.

Sanjarpur,Beena Para,Sarai Mir,Para,Rani Ki Sarai,and Kanwra — the villages from which most of the arrested youths came — are all in Lalganj,which is part of Azamgarh district.

In none of these villages,which have about 50,000 voters,the local youths allow the candidates to campaign. They maintain that the politicians have failed to protect innocent young men,who were framed in false cases.

The local intelligence unit has alerted the administration about the possibility of trouble during Thursday’s polling,if political workers try to persuade people to cast their votes. The youths who prevented the candidates from campaigning are not part of any recognisable organisation,said an officer. These are amorphous groups,comprising relatives of some of the arrested youths.

Shahid,one of the youths active in Para village,admitted that they did not allow any candidate,including the one from Ulema Council,to campaign. And they would not let in any candidates or political worker on Thursday either.

“The people are going to teach a lesson to the candidates of prominent parties,especially the BSP,which did not help us when the police of other states framed our youths in fake cases although we had voted for the party in the by-election,” he said.

Ansar Ahmed,principal of Beena Para Intermediate College where Atif and Saif studied,said: “The people have lost hope from the politicians.” Mohammad Islam,a grain dealer at Sanjarpur,said: “The anger of the residents might hamper the polling.”

Asked if they would consider casting their vote for Ulema Council candidate Chandra Ram alias Chandu Saroj,Shahid said: “Everything will be decided tonight.”

The Inspector General of Azamgarh Zone,Vijay Kumar,said: “If there is a voluntary boycott tomorrow,it is their choice.” He said he had not received complaints that candidates were not allowed to campaign.

But SP candidate Daroga Prasad Saroj,who is seeking re-election,said youngsters in the 16-25 year age group in areas like Sanjarpur and Sarai Mir misbehaved when they had gone there.

“A group of youths even hurled expletives at me about a week ago in Sanjarpur,” Saroj told The Indian Express. “I was so upset,that I have not asked for vote from them since.” BSP candidate Dr Baliram said,“The people were angry,not ready to hear us and canvassing became a bit difficult.”

District president of BJP Vinod Rai said he had seen SP and BSP workers being shooed away by the residents of Sanjarpur and Rani Ki Sarai. “We did not make any effort to seek votes there,” Rai said.

Lalganj: Police file se
Sanjarpur is the village of Atif and Chhota Sajid who were killed in Batla House encounter in Delhi on September 19,2008. Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives Saif,Dr Shahnawaj,Mohammad Sajid,Mohammad Khalid and Salman belong to Sanjarpur as well. While Saif is behind the bars,the others are wanted and carry a reward of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads.

Maulana Mohammad Tariq,who is in Barabanki jail since he was arrested by UP Special Task Force in December 2007 for alleged involvement in the Faizabad and Lucknow court blasts,hails from Rani Ki Sarai village.

The founder member of IM Sadiq Sheikh belongs to Para village while his associate Zakir is a resident of Kanwra. Beena Para hit the headlines after the arrest of Abu Bashar on August 16,2008,in Lucknow. Bashar,a SIMI operative now lodged in Ahmedabad jail,faces charges of orchestrating the blasts in Gujarat.

The Sarai Mir Township,about two kilometres from Sanjarpur and Beena Para,became the nodal point for the families and acquaintances of the arrested youths. ens

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