Protests by students and youths were held across the state on the issue of increasing unemployment. At several places, including in Capital Luckow, police used lathicharge on the protesters that included youths belonging to Samajwadi Party, Congress’s student wing, NSUI, as well as AAP.
At some places, youths fried pakodas, burnt their copies of degrees and polished shoes as part of ‘Berozgari Diwas’ (unemployment day) protests.
Lucknow Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Naveen Arora said that over 170 people have been booked in the Capital, of which 72 have been named in the FIR. They have been booked for unlawful assembly and have been booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act. “The people who were named in FIRs were arrested and later released on bail. Two were sent to jail,” said Arora.
Samajwadi student leader Pooja Shukla and party colleague Saugendra Yadav have been arrested, said police.
Three cases each were lodged at Hazratganj and Hasanganj police stations, while one case was registered at Gautam Palli police station and two at Qaiserbagh.
Protests were also held at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi as students protested against unemployment, privatisation of PSUs and government’s plan to hire people on a five-year contract. The students also held a torch march on the campus in the evening when police used light force to disperse them.
There were reports of similar protests being held in Noida, Meerut, Jhansi, Amethi, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Sultanpur and Prayagraj.
Slamming the police action, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “By resorting to lathicharge on peaceful protesters, the BJP government did a condemnable job. The youths are demoralised due to unemployment and the government’s action shows its insensitiveness. When youths and farmers are against a government, its days are over.”
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