At least 25 Congress workers were arrested on Thursday and a few others, including noted Urdu poet Munawwar Rana’s daughter Urusha Rana, detained while staging a protest in Lucknow. Responding to a call by Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu, party workers were marching towards the state Assembly to protest against power tariffs, inflation, women’s security and corruption in paddy procurement when they were stopped at the Parivartan Chowk here and 25 of them arrested, the party’s media convener, Lalan Kumar, said.
Some others, including Urusha Rana, the vice-president of the women’s cell of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, were taken into custody and later released, Kumar added. A police spokesperson said Congress workers were marching towards the Vidhan Bhavan without permission. They were asked to stop and mild force was used when they did not comply, he added.
Meanwhile, Lallu termed the police action on Congress workers undemocratic and demanded an immediate release of those arrested. Accusing the Yogi Adityanath government of adopting a “dictatorial” attitude, Lallu said Congress workers would not bow before it and would continue to raise the voices of women, youth, unemployed and farmers.
He claimed that the Adityanath government was trying to suppress the voice of the Opposition. There is total anarchy in the state, Lallu claimed, adding that the chief minister has spent crores of rupees on advertisements for ‘Mission Shakti’ in the name of women security but there has been no let up in crimes against women.
He levelled allegations of corruption at paddy purchase centres and said people were facing immense problems because of high power tariffs and inflation.