Thousands of activists detained during protests: Samajwadi PartyMarch 7th, 2011 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, March 7 (IANS) Over 50,000 Samajwadi Party (SP) activists were baton-charged and detained across Uttar Pradesh Monday as they clashed with police, disrupted traffic and forced closure of some government offices on the first day of their three-day agitation against the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), party leaders said.
“Reports reaching the party office here indicate that over 50,000 SP activists have been detained for demonstrations aimed at unmasking the BSP government. The strength of our partymen being detained is expected to rise when the final report would be prepared after talking to our leaders in the 72 districts of the state,” Samajwadi Party spokesman in the state Rajendra Chaudhary told reporters here.
Under the campaign, “BSP hatao, Pradesh Bachao (Remove BSP, Save the state)”, party activists, including women, took to the streets across the state and appealed to people to dethrone the BSP in the next assembly elections, due in 2012.
In Lucknow, several party leaders, including Bhagwati Singh and Shivpal Yadav, were detained as they tried to lead a march of partymen demonstrating against the “anti-people” policies of the BSP. Police baton-charged the protesting party workers near the Parivartan Chowk crossing in Lucknow.
“Several of our senior leaders, including Bhagwati Singh and Shivpal Yadav, were intentionally targeted at the behest of the Mayawati government that is trying to suppress our agitation by violent means,” said Chaudhary.
“The government is misusing the state machinery to detain our party MLAs (legislators) across the state as it fears it would be dethroned if such demonstrations are carried out to expose its misdeeds,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, Special Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal told reporters here: “No untoward incident took place during the series of protests owing to heavy security arrangements made across Uttar Pradesh.”
“Schools, colleges, malls and markets remained open,” he added.
According to reports, SP activists carried out demonstrations on rail tracks in Banda district where they also stopped a train.
In Etawah, police had to use a water cannon to disperse the protesters.
In Lakhimpur Kheri district, Samajwadi Party workers forced closure of government offices. The protesters had locked the main gate of the collectorate and the Vikas Bhavan (office of chief development officer) that was later got opened with the intervention of police and district authorities.
Similarly, according to party officials, locks were put in several offices in Lucknow at around 6.30 a.m.
Demonstrations that disrupted traffic at several important places were also carried out in Meerut, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur and other cities.
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Tags: agitation, assembly elections, behest, bhagwati, demonstrations, government offices, heavy security, lal, law and order, legislators, parivartan, party activists, party leaders, party spokesman, police baton, security arrangements, state machinery, untoward incident, uttar pradesh, yadav