Lucknow: Police today arrested scores of Congress workers and leaders including PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and used batons to disperse protesters across Uttar Pradesh, during the state-wide chakka jam called by the party against the arrest of Rahul Gandhi.
"Several party leaders and workers were injured in the lathicharge by police at a number of places in the state during peaceful protest and demonstration. More than 10,000 workers and leaders were arrested across the state," party spokesman Subodh Srivastava said here.
The state government, however, claimed that there was no impact of Congress agitation in the state and only 135 people were arrested in apprehension of breach of peace.
The Congress had announced state-wide chakka jam today to protest against arrest of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Bhatta Parsaul last night and in support of farmers demand in Gautam Buddha Nagar.
In Lucknow the Congress workers led by state president Joshi staged a demonstration at Bapu Bhawan crossing near Vidhan Bhawan and blocked road.
In a bid to disperse the agitating party workers police resorted to lathicharge in which several party workers were allegedly injured. Police later detained several partymen, including Joshi and MP Jagdambika Pal, besides MLAs, and they were taken to the police line. In Rae Bareli, two MLAs and MLCs along with other party worker were detained and later released after their blocked the national highway this morning.
Similar protests were held in other parts of the state including Jhansi, Meerut, Allahabad and Sitapur districts. Srivastava alleged that police lathicharged party workers in Hardoi during Chakka jam in which 10 people sustained serious injuries. Police also used force in Firozabad where party workers allegedly attempted to torch a bus, Superintendent of Police Manjil Saini Dahal said. However, the government claimed that there was no effect of the agitation anywhere in the state.
"Congress has given call for demonstration and chakka jam today, but all schools, colleges, markets and malls remained opened and the rail or road traffic was not affected," secretary home Deepak Kumar told reporters.