Protestors clash with police, six injured

June 4th, 2008 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Allahabad, June 3 (IANS) Over half a dozen people, including a policeman, were injured here Tuesday as hundreds of people clashed with police to protest the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to merge a ‘tehsil’ (sub-division) into another district. The people were protesting the government’s decision to merge Khaga tehsil of Fatehpur district in Kaushambi district in the eastern part of the state.

Police said the agitated mob resorted to stone pelting, set a policeman’s motorbike on fire, damaged the engine and window panes of the Moori Express train and damaged the rail tracks.

The police had to use tear gas and resorted to firing in the air to disperse the mob.

Nearly 40,000 people including villagers, lawyers and local leaders of all political parties, except the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, assembled in Khaga, around 300 km from state capital Lucknow, under the banner of Khaga Bachao Andolan Samiti (Save Khaga Committee) for a meeting.

Soon, a section of the protestors went to the nearby rail track and blocked it with cement bags and boulders. When the policemen tried to prevent them, they pelted stones.

The administration deployed heavy police force brought from Kaushambi and Allahabad districts to tackle the situation.

Fatehpur Superintendent of Police K.S. Pippal, who along with District Magistrate Sarauv Babu reached the spot, told reporters that the agitators had removed the fish plates of the track.

“Fortunately, Moori Express narrowly escaped being derailed,” he said. He said there was no report of any injury to the passengers.

The leader of the protestors, Arun Kumar Yadav, said that they were opposed to the government’s merger decision as Khaga would lose the status of tehsil, putting people to hardship since they would have to travel an extra distance to reach the new tehsil office in Khakreru.

Several other tehsils are also proposed to be merged in Kaushambi district.

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