BKU, Congress workers clash in Farrukhabad

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 12:50 hrs

Lucknow, Nov 1 (IANS) Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and the Congress Thursday clashed on the outskirts of Farrukhabad, where Arvind Kejriwal's India Against Corruption (IAC) held a rally against External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, police said.

The "skirmish was a minor one and some stones were pelted" a police officer said and added that none was injured. The BKU is backing Kejriwal in strength as the farmers see him as coming to their aid as land was being "looted by developers". They said they will protect the activist and his aides.

Farrukhabad, over 160 km from Lucknow and over 250 km from New Delhi, is the parliamentary constituency of Khurshid, who faces allegations of irregularities in the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by him and wife Louise Fernandes.

Vaibhav Maheshwari, an IAC activist accompanying Kejriwal, told IANS that there were black-flag protests near Qayamganj from where the IAC convoy was passing but he added there was no clash.

Officials say a group of BJP workers also tried to show black flags to Kejriwal but was shooed away by the police.

Congress workers tried to intercept Kejriwal's convoy at Gursahayganj and Samdhan but at the last minute the police changed the route and saved any ugly situation.

Congressmen then reached Malikpur and the vehicles of IAC were stranded as the railway crossing here was closed. Both IAC and Congress workers came face to face and shouted slogans against either side. Timely police intervention saved any flare-up.

Farrukhabad Superintendent of Police N. Chowdhary told IANS that the rally went off well and there was no major incident of violence or any clash.

"Adequate arrangements had been made and everything went off peacefully," he added.

Kejriwal also thanked the police for the protection and security provided to him. He, however, asked them not to tail his convoy on his way back to Lucknow.

"Our lives are in the hands of God so please leave us alone, I thank you nevertheless," he added.

Rattled by Kejriwal's allegations that the trust that he ran with his wife had misused funds to the tune of Rs.71.50 lakh meant for the welfare of disabled people, and forged signatures of government officials, Khurshid told his supporters Oct 17 that while Kejriwal was welcome in Farrukhabad, he should also make sure that he could go back.

IAC activists had claimed that the minister had resorted to intimidation, instigating trouble.

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