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Updated: July 6, 2010 01:38 IST

Bandh supporters lathicharged, sprayed with water in U.P.

Special Correspondent
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BJP leader Arun Jaitley at a seminar in New Delhi. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu
BJP leader Arun Jaitley at a seminar in New Delhi. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and the Opposition leader in the State Assembly Shivpal Singh Yadav were among the BJP and SP leaders arrested on Monday here during the Opposition-sponsored “Bharat Bandh” in protest against the fuel price hike.

Police used force to disperse the BJP supporters led by Mr. Jaitley and Mr. Naqvi when they tried to reach the Allahabad Bank crossing in the posh Hazratganj area. Several were injured when police resorted to lathi charge and spraying of water.

Movement of vehicles and trains were affected in several cities of Uttar Pradesh as SP and BJP workers disrupted traffic.

1,680 people arrested

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal, said 1,680 people were arrested in different parts of the State.

Ten SP supporters, booked for causing damage to roadways and buses in Agra, have not been released, Mr. Lal said. He added that about 55 SP supporters led by the former MP, Ramji Lal Suman, were arrested for ransacking the Income Tax Office and clashing with employees in Agra.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which stayed away from the bandh, will instead stage a one-day demonstration at district headquarters on Tuesday against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's fuel price hike.

Mr. Jaitley, who was arrested in Lucknow along with Mr. Naqvi and State chief of the BJP, Surya Pratap Shahi, later claimed that the bandh was an “unprecedented success,” with the people throwing their weight behind the Opposition protest. He warned the Congress-led UPA government to come to terms with the travails of the common man and demanded that the Centre roll back the price hike.

March to Raj Bhavan

Even as the BJP supporters clashed with the police, hundreds of Samajwadis led by Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav and State unit president Akhilesh Yadav emerged from the party office and marched towards the Raj Bhavan. As they tried to break the barricades and security cordon on the Vikramaditya crossing, police resorted to lathi charge and used water cannon.

Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav and Mr. Akhilesh Yadav were arrested.

Leader of the Opposition in the Vidhan Parishad, Ahmed Hasan, and senior SP leader Bhagwati Singh, who managed to evade the police dragnet, were arrested near the Raj Bhavan.

Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI and Forward Bloc leaders, including S.P. Kashyap, Girish and Ram Kishore, were arrested on the Vidhan Sabha Marg.

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