LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party workers were on Friday lathi-charged by the police in the Hazratganj area here while they were taking out a protest march against the Hathras gangrape and farm laws.
The march which started from the party office was supposed to end at the Gandhi statue in the city where the MLAs and senior party leaders were scheduled to begin a 'maun vrat' (vow of silence).
However, the protesters were stopped at Hazratganj crossing, where police had put up barricades.
लखनऊ में शांतिपूर्ण पैदल मार्च कर रहे सपा MLAs को पुलिस द्वारा दमनकारी सत्ता के इशारे पर रोकना निंदनीय!— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) October 2, 2020
बापू ने सदा अहिंसा का वरण किया, हाथरस में हैवानियत का शिकार बेटी और BJP सरकार के अत्याचार के खिलाफ गांधी प्रतिमा तक मार्च निकाल रहे MLAs को अहंकारी, डरी हुई सरकार ने रोका। pic.twitter.com/VG5ohqbdy4
As the SP workers insisted on being allowed to move ahead, a heated argument ensued between the two sides following which police personnel resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
"Today, by arresting party MLAs and senior leaders, going to sit on 'Maun Vrat" and dharna for 'Hathras ki Beti', the government suppressed the voice of truth in a violent way on the birth anniversaries of Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
This is condemnable," the party's national president Akhilesh Yadav said.
We demand an FIR against the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Hathras, he said.
लखनऊ में गांधी जयंती के अवसर पर हाथरस में हैवानियत का शिकार हुई बेटी एवं भाजपा सरकार के अत्याचार, किसान विरोधी बिल के खिलाफ लखनऊ में पार्टी कार्यालय से गांधी प्रतिमा तक शांतिपूर्ण पैदल मार्च निकाल रहे सपा विधायकों को सीएम के आदेश पर पुलिस द्वारा रोकना लोकतंत्र की हत्या है। pic.twitter.com/cd5hiT8jVa— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) October 2, 2020
"Stopping of peaceful foot march of SP MLAs and leaders on the directives of the chief minister is the murder of democracy," the party said.
However, the state police said that the action was taken to maintain the state's law and order.
"We have detained SP workers including some MLAs. They have been taken away from the spot (Hazratganj)," a senior police officer said.