Special Correspondent

Violence during protest against police firing and imposition of VAT

Mulayam’s son among the arrested leaders

Mayawati practising politics of hatred, says

Amar Singh

LUCKNOW: Over 3,000 leaders and workers of the Samajwadi Party were arrested as its agitation against the death of a student in the Saifai police firing and imposition of the Value Added Tax in the State intensified on Thursday. Among the leaders arrested was Akhilesh Yadav, MP and son of party president Mulayam Singh.

The SP workers resorted to violence at Jaswantnagar in Etawah district, Barabanki, Allahabad, Bareilly and Varanasi. The police resorted to lathicharge in Varanasi to disperse the agitationists.

In Lucknow, the protest against the VAT was led by SP national general secretary Amar Singh as the party workers held a meeting at the Collectorate and submitted a memorandum to the Additional District Magistrate.

Last rites amid security

Meanwhile, the last rites for Mukesh Yadav, who was killed in Wednesday’s firing, were performed amid tight security at Jaswantnagar. Mr. Mulayam Singh was present. Members of the SP Chhatra Sabha (student wing) went on the rampage, throwing stones at police and torching a bus.

Principal Secretary (Home) J.N. Chamber said the maximum number of 655 arrests were made in the Moradabad division, followed by 450 in Agra, 432 in Gorakhpur, 415 in Bareilly and 407 in Basti. He said security was strengthened and vigil would be maintained.

“Brutal lathicharge”

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Mr. Amar Singh alleged that the police resorted to a brutal lathicharge on the SP workers in Etah, Allahabad, Basti, Hardoi, Ghaziabad and Shahjahanpur. In view of the agitation against the VAT, several party leaders were placed under house arrest including Waqar Ahmed Shah and Bahraich MP Rubab Sayda, Aulad Ali, OP Rana and Ramdhari Singh Yadav. Senior leader Mohammad Azam Khan was detained on the Moradabad-Rampur border, he said.

Mr. Singh said the former Minister Balram Yadav and MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq were detained at the police line and the local police station.

Mr. Singh accused Chief Minister Mayawati of pursuing politics of hatred. He saw a conspiracy to eliminate him, Mr. Mulayam Singh, his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and Mr. Akhilesh Yadav.

Claiming that the political situation in Uttar Pradesh was akin to an undeclared emergency, Mr. Amar Singh said if any untoward incident happened, the blame would fall on the Chief Minister, Director-General of Police Vikram Singh, and ADG, Law and Order, Brij Lal.

The SP workers had been subjected to “untold atrocities” by the police, Mr. Singh alleged.

Mr. Singh ridiculed Ms. Mayawati’s demand for SPG cover. While the security cover for Mr. Mulayam Singh, a former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, was scaled down, the Chief Minister was seeking SPG cover, he said.

He added that the serial bomb blasts in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow and the terror attack on the Rampur CRPF camp were the result of the Chief Minister’s failure to comprehend the situation.

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