SP activist killed in UP firing
Lucknow, January 9
Giving an indication of more trouble in the days to come, Chief Minister Mayawati, while ordering an inquiry into the incident, issued a veiled threat of further violent action against senior SP leaders, including former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, if they “took the law in their hands”.
Briefing the Press at her 5, Kalidas Road, residence in the evening, a visibly edgy Mayawati declared, “Anti-social activities of the Samajwadi Party mafia would not be tolerated. Even Mulayam Singh Yadav would not be spared if he took law in his hand”.
Earlier, at former Chief Minister’s village in district Etawah, the police opened fire on a protesting SP crowd for reportedly burning down a police jeep killing youth Mukesh Kumar Yadav.
While Mayawati confirmed the death, she was evasive about the injuries received by other SP workers. “Ghayal hue honge (Must have been hurt)”, she evasively mentioned.
Condemning the police firing in which Mukesh was killed and another person Ram Gopal was seriously injured, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav declared that his party would continue to protest till “the SSP, Etawah, was not sent to jail on charges of murder for ordering a police fire on peaceful SP protesters.”
He even charged Mayawati for setting the stage for the firing by ordering the police to set their own jeep ablaze.
In the state capital, the police fired teargas shells and used water canons to disperse SP workers trying to proceed towards the Vidhan Sabha to protest against the alleged manhandling of senior party leaders, including party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother in front of the SSP office late last night. Led by party youth wing president and Kannauj MP Akhilesh Yadav, hundreds of workers tried to force their way towards the Assembly building to hold a dharna when the police stopped them near the SP office this morning.
The SP workers were demonstrating against last night’s incident when several party leaders, including state unit president Shivpal Singh Yadav, were allegedly manhandled as they were staging a dharna in front of the SSP office demanding the release of members of the Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, the youth wing of the party, who were arrested by the police at the local KKC College on Tuesday afternoon.
Student leaders reportedly belonging to the SP’s Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha had barged into a public function at KKC College on Tuesday to meet the state’s minister for higher education to demand the restoration of student union elections in the state.
Mayawati today described them as “confirmed goondas and anti-social elements having criminal cases against them”.
The police had lathi charged the leaders and arrested them. Senior SP leaders staged a dharna before the SSP office last night where they were reportedly manhandled.
As the report of their manhandling spread, spontaneous protests were held across the state. In Varanasi, women SP workers clashed with the police when they were being prevented from burning Mayawati’s effigy. In Meerut, also the Chief Minister’s effigy was burnt.
Home department sources confirmed incidents of SP workers taking to streets and occasional skirmishes with the police in Bareilly, Mainpuri, Etawah, Etah, Meerut, Agra, Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Faizabad, Varanasi and Lucknow.