Magsaysay Award winner and noted social activist Sandeep Pandey was arrested here on Monday along with nine others while they were trying to take out a march against the new citizenship law (CAA) and the proposed nationwide NRC.
Pandey and others wanted to take out a march from Ghanta Ghar, where women have been holding a sit-in protest against the new law for the last one month, to Ujariyaon in Gomti Nagar area where also a group of women have been holding a similar demonstration.
Since January 17, 10 FIRs have been registered in Lucknow district in connection with the protests against the CAA and NRC. Six of them have been registered at Thakurganj Police Station where Ghanta Ghar is located, three at Gomti Nagar Police Station and one at Mohanlalganj Police Station.
According to senior police officers, Pandey and others were picked up from Ghanta Ghar and were produced before the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Hazratganj) Abhay Mishra, who released them on personal bonds. Assistant Commissioner of Police Durga Prasad Tiwari said that no FIR has been registered and they were released on personal bond. The bond was to make sure that he does not do it again, Tiwari added.
“Ten persons, including Sandeep Pandey, were arrested under Section 155 of the CrPC as they were trying to take out a march from Ghanta Ghar to Ujariyaon. Around 1.30 pm, we arrested them while they were gathering to start the march,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikas Chandra Tripathi said.
Pandey, a vocal critique of the CAA and the NRC, has been a continuous presence at the Ghanta Ghar site to so show his solidarity with the protesters. On several occasions in the past one month, he was seen at Ghanta Ghar using a charkha.
Last month, an FIR was registered against Pandey for allegedly making “derogatory remarks” against RSS ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his speech at Aligarh Muslim University. Pandey was booked for promoting enmity on a complaint filed by Hindu Mahasabha leader Rajiv Kumar.
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