Allahabad: More than 100 students were arrested from various parts of the city on Tuesday for defying prohibitory orders clamped in the wake of their bid to hold a "Mahapanchayat" to press the demand for restoring the controversial reservation formula which was scrapped recently.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Umesh Srivastava, "A total of 140 students have so far been arrested from various parts of the city as they were seen marching in groups of 10 or 20, notwithstanding the imposition of Section 144 of CrPC.
"They have been detained at the Police Lines and may be let off later in the day".
He also said that Indian Justice Party founder and Dalit leader Udit Raj, who had arrived in the city to take part in the proposed "Mahapanchayat" for which the administration has refused to give permission, "was stopped at the airport itself and made to return by the next flight."
Earlier, late last night, Janata Dal United president Sharad Yadav and Apna Dal leader and MLA Anupriya Patel were detained at Ghaziabad and Rae Bareli respectively while on their way to the city for attending the "Mahapanchayat".
The students have been demanding restoration of a reservation formula, introduced by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, wherein caste-based quotas were introduced at all stages of competitive examinations.
The reservation formula was scrapped by the Commission on July 27 and results of exams declared on its basis were cancelled following vehement protests by students opposed to quotas, petitions challenging the same in the Allahabad High Court, and the expression of disapproval by the state government which claimed that the UPPSC took the decision without taking it into confidence.
The volte face has, however, been strongly opposed by pro-reservation students who have termed the decision as an act of "betrayal" by the Samajwadi Party government and demanded restoration of what they have been describing as "three-tier reservation system".
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements are in place in the city which has been divided into five zones and 14 sectors.
Each zone has been placed under the command of an Additional Superintendent of Police and an Additional District Magistrate, while every sector is being supervised by a sub-divisional magistrate and a Deputy SP.
Besides, additional forces have been called in from the neighbouring districts and about 800 constables and 700 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary are keeping a round-the-clock vigil.