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Lucknow at standstill as BJP workers clash with police outside Assembly

Twelve policemen sautain injuries, BJP claims 250 workers injured

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 25, 2016 3:55:52 am
BJP workers protest, BJP protest, UP, UP elections, Uttar prafdesh assembly elections 2017, Keshav Prasad Maurya, Akhilesh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav government, Uttar Pradesh government, uttar pradesh elections, uttar pradesh government, akhilesh yadav government, jungle raj in up, BJP, Azam Khan, Narendra Modi, Modi, PM Modi, UP news, india news BJP workers flee following the police lathicharge and (right) Keshav Prasad Maurya and others brave water cannon, in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Stivastav)

Normal life was thrown out of gear in Lucknow as an estimated 2,000-strong gathering of BJP workers, led by state party president Keshav Prasad Maurya and some MPs and MLAs, clashed with police while staging a demonstration outside the Vidhan Bhavan on Wednesday, protesting against the worsening law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.

BJP workers broke the security cordon, indulged in stone pelting and even attacked policemen. Police had to use water cannon, tear gas before resorting to lathi charge to disperse the protesters as they sought to gherao the Vidhan Bhavan where the proceedings of the legislature were on.

“Twelve policemen sustained injuries during the BJP protest, but we have no information about the number of protesters injured. The police have collected video footage of BJP men indulging in violence and an FIR would be lodged against them accordingly,” said Manzil Saini, Lucknow SSP.

State BJP leaders, meanwhile, claimed that around 250 party workers, including MPs and state office-bearers, sustained injuries in the lathicharge and around 100 of them were seriously injured. Several party workers were admitted to the Civil Hospital in Hazratganj.

The BJP leaders and workers had started assembling at party state headquarters located opposite the Vidhan Bhavan since early morning.

The district administration had erected two-layer of barricades outside the BJP office to stop them from heading towards Assembly building. Heavy police force and barricading was also seen in and around Hazratganj, the busy commercial area in the state capital, and GPO complex close to the Assembly building.

Initially, party leaders addressed the crowd from a dais inside the BJP office. At around 11:10 am, Maurya addressed the crowd saying that “Jungle-raj” was prevailing in the state. He, however, appealed the workers to “mark their protest” with “discipline”.

While Maurya was making the appeal, dozens of party workers who were standing started dismantling the barricades while raising slogans.

Meanwhile, Maurya with party general secretary Swatantra Deo Singh and Rajya Sabha member Shiv Pratap Shukla walked outside the party office and sat on a dharna on the road. The party workers too started occupying the road, forcing the police to use water cannon.

Soon, some workers started attacking the policemen and the PAC personnel with poles dismantled from the barricades. Some other workers, who were inside the BJP office campus, started pelting stones. The police personnel retaliated by throwing bricks inside the BJP office and also fired tear gas shells.

Later, police resorted to a lathi charge. Chaos prevailed between Hazratganj crossing and Vidhan Bhavan for over three hours.

In a statement later in the evening, Maurya claimed that party workers maintained “patience” despite “police brutality” that left over 250 workers injured. He said the injured include former state president Surya Pratap Shahi, MPs Anju Bala, Rekha Verma, Vinod Sonkar, and spokespersons Harish Srivastava, Chandra Mohan among others.

 

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