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Farmers’ protest | Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav detained in Uttar Pradesh

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was on Monday detained by police for a few hours as they prevented him from travelling to Kannauj to attend a scheduled ‘yatra’ in support of farmers.

Also read: Dilli Chalo | Protesting farmers continue to camp at Delhi border amid heavy police deployment

After the police cordoned off his residence and the party office, Mr. Yadav tried to lead a protest march and briefly staged a sit-in on the road before he was bundled in a police bus along with several other party colleagues.

The district administration of Kannauj said permission was denied for the ‘kisan yatra’ planned by the SP due to security reasons and concerns over COVID-19. “If any public meeting is held by gathering a crowd at one particular place, then I understand that it has the highest risk of spreading the infection”, District Magistrate Kannauj Rakesh Mishra said.

‘Govt is biased’

Mr. Yadav, however, questioned the government's reasoning and accused it of bias. “The BJP stopped the ‘yatra’ with the excuse of COVID. The BJP is holding all events, campaigning for elections and organising big programmes. There is no COVID for them. But if the Opposition wants to raise the voice of farmers, then there is COVID for them”, he told a television channel during the sit-in.

Watch | Why are the farmers protesting?

Mr. Yadav asked the BJP to explain what it had done for its promise of doubling the income of farmers. “When will the BJP bring such a law”, he asked.

The SP said several of its workers and leaders across the State were put under house arrest, detained or prevented from participating in ‘yatras’. MLC Raju Yadav was beaten up, the SP alleged. Police also lathicharged its workers at several places, injuring several of them, the party said.

Also read: Dilli Chalo | Kejriwal reaches Singhu border to review arrangements for farmers’ protest

A huge posse of policemen was deployed outside Mr. Yadav’s official residence at Vikramaditya Marg in Lucknow. “My vehicles have also been seized by police,” he said.

Akhilesh writes to Lok Sabha Speaker

 “This undemocratic act of the State government is a violation of my constitutional right. As a Member of Parliament, this is also a violation of my special rights,” Mr. Yadav said in a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, seeking his intervention.

Also read: Dilli Chalo | BSP extends support to ‘Bharat Bandh’ call by farmers | Support widens for Bharat Bandh call

Talking to reporters outside his residence before being taken away in a police bus along with his supporters, Mr. Yadav said the BJP had brought in laws that would destroy farmers. “The farmers will lose their lands”.

Mr. Yadav, who planned to participate in the ‘yatra’ on a tractor, said: “If they don’t allow us to go [to participate in the kisan rally] — our party workers have been arrested in many places — they can send us to jail if they want”.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:52:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/police-seal-road-near-samajwadi-party-office-ahead-of-akhilesh-yadavs-visit-to-kannuaj-for-kisan-yatra/article33268585.ece

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