Samajwadi Party activists torch buses, stop trains


Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) activists indulged in arson and vandalism in parts of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday while observing a nationwide general strike called by 13 political parties over rising prices.

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The party carried out violent protests in various districts of the state, including Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Jaunpur, Meerut, Ambedkarnagar. The protesters were baton charged by police.

While police claimed no one was seriously injured in the baton charge, state party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told reporters: “Several of our dedicated workers are being treated in hospitals in various districts…All of them were manhandled by the police.”

Near 600 party activists, including SP state president Akhilesh Yadav, were detained in Lucknow and Allahabad and Kanpur, where the party workers stopped trains, disrupted rail services, torched roadways buses and damaged public property, police said.

Shouting slogans against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, the SP activists damaged a number of shops in Meerut district that they found open during the strike.

“Stringent action would be taken against all those involved in targeting public property or violent demonstrations,” Lucknow District Magistrate Anil Sagar told reporters here.

Altogether 13 political parties, including the SP, Left parties, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have called a 12-hour strike to oppose the hike in prices of petroleum and fertilizers and shooting costs of essential commodities.