Samajwadi Party leaders’ arrests provoke protestsBy IANS
Monday, December 20, 2010
LUCKNOW - Nearly 500 Samajwadi Party activists were detained from various parts of Uttar Pradesh Monday during demonstrations against the arrest of their party’s three lawmakers over a murder bid, police said.
Controversial Independent legislator Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, Shailendra Kumar and two legislators were arrested Sunday in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district for an alleged attempt to murder a candidate in the local bodies poll.
The Samajwadi Party workers, about 500 of whom were detained, shouted slogans against the state government, blockaded roads and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Mayawati, accusing her of falsely implicating their leaders.
While the protests remained largely peaceful, activists clashed with police in Bareilly and Moradabad.
No one was seriously injured, a police officer said.
In Lucknow, the protests were limited to Qaiserbagh area.
Our party activists were unnecessarily targeted by the police in several cities while they were carrying out peaceful demonstrations against the Mayawati government,” party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told reporters here.
The BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) government is trying every means to terrorise us. It was at the behest of Mayawati that our party MP Shailendra Kumar and other leaders were arrested,” he said.
“The arrests followed an FIR lodged against 13 people, including Raja Bhaiya, Samajwadi Party MP Shailendra Kumar, assembly member Vinod Saroj and legislative council member Akshay Pratap Singh,” Pratapgarh Superintendent of Police O.P. Sagar told IANS.