50 Congress activists injured in police lathicharge during assembly gherao in Lucknow

50 Congress activists injured in police lathicharge during assembly gherao in Lucknow

17-1439810074-congress1Lucknow, Aug17- At least 50 Congress activists, including senior leaders, were injured today when party workers fought a pitch battle with the police, which stopped them from proceeding towards Vidhan Sabha and had to resort to lathicharge to stop them. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi condemned the police action on the peaceful agitation of the party. Mr Gandhi,who is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Amethi from tomorrow, also talked to AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry and state Congress president Nirmal Khatri on phone. Both the leaders were among the injured leaders in the police lathicharge. Police lathi charged Congress activists and protesters started stone pelting in reply. While majority of the leaders were chased away by cops, 1500 activists were arrested. They were taken to Reserve Police Lines from where they were later released in the evening. Later in the evening, all senior leaders which included Mr Khatri, Mr Mistry, former state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, all in one voice condemned the police brutality and alleged that the government was using state machinery to crush the voice of the Opposition. They even demanded a judicial probe into the matter and action against officials who used force on the innocent workers. According to reports, over 7000 of Congress workers, including many senior former MPs and central ministers, gathered at Lakshman Mela Ground on the banks of Gomti this noon. The party as per their announcement left the ground to proceed to the State Assembly and staged a demonstration against the Samajwadi Party government. As they reached Ashok Marg, district administration which had refused to give permission to proceed further, put barricades on their way. As the Congress leaders tried to break the barricades, the police used batons to push them back. However, the situation took a violent turn when some youth wing members pelted stones at the police party. This led to massive lathi charge in which around 50 Congressmen including Mr Khatri, Mr Mistry, Raj Babbar, Sanjay Singh, Shree Prakash Jaiswal, Pramod Tewari , were injured and shifted to hospitals for treatment. Dr Joshi, who sat on dharna against the lathi charge, was also detained by the police. Later the cops caned the workers to chase them away and had also claimed to have detained 1500 workers. They were later loaded on buses and shifted to reserve police lines. One additional city magistrate and few cops along with some scribes and photo-journalists, too, were injured during the incident. Sources said the administration this morning also stopped many buses loaded with Congress leaders from entering the city limits while effigy of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav , which the activists were carrying to burn it in protest, was also taken away in different parts of the city by the police. The state Congress had called for a Vidhan Sabha gherao against the law and order, corruption, increase in power tariff, non-payment of dues to cane farmers and alleged anti-people approach of the Samajwadi Party government. The dharna was planned while the Monsoon Session of the State assembly was also underway at present.

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