Magsaysay award winner and social activist Sandeep Pandey was on Sunday briefly barred from leaving his house here by the Lucknow police after he had announced a candlelight march in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 and the clampdown on communication.
Mr. Pandey’s wife Arundhati Dhuru, an activist herself, said in a text message: “There are police outside our home, not allowing any of us to go out.”
However, she said the police team had left the residence around 4 pm.
Mr. Pandey was among those who had announced the demonstration “in support of people of Kashmir” on Sunday at 6 pm. The demonstration was scheduled at the Gandhi statue in Hazratganj in the heart of the Uttar Pradesh capital.
Mr. Pandey was put under “house arrest” even after he had informed the police that the protest was postponed to August 16 in the wake of their security concerns around the Bakrid and the Independence Day, said Rajeev Yadav of the Rihai Manch, a civil rights group based in UP which was part of the scheduled demonstration.
“No security in Lucknow, leave Kashmir aside. Lucknow police officers’ dictatorial direction,” said Mr. Yadav.
President of the Rihai Manch and senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib said he was also being pressured by the police to call off the demonstration. “When I told them we were willing to be arrested under the relevant legal Sections for holding a protest, they told me they didn’t want to arrest us,” he told The Hindu .
Police personnel led by CO and SHO rank officers had gone to his residence but left soon after.
The police are yet to issue a statement.