Four BJP MPs, 1 MLA detained for defying ban on mahapanchayat
Moradabad: The issue of holding of a `mahapanchayat` in Kanth area on Friday turned into a violent protest, during which BJP leaders including four MPs, and an MLA who was accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots were detained.
The `mahapanchayat` or gathering was called by the state BJP in defiance of the state order, after a recent dispute in Kanth, over removal of a loudspeaker from a temple, which led to communal tension in the area.
Sardhana MLA Sangeet Som, Amroha MP Kunwar Singh Tanwar, Sambhal MP Satyapal Saini and Rampur MP Nepal Singh were detained and sent to police lines, Moradabad Commissioner, Shiv Shankar Singh said.
Meanwhile, in Lucknow, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), Amrendra Singh Sengar told reporters that 210 people, including Moradabad MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh and former MLA Rajesh, were also detained.
Supporters and workers led by partymen and members of RSS and Hindu Maha Sabha blocked train lines and resorted to stone-pelting, following which police used tear gas shells to dispel the crowd.
Sengar said that when efforts were made to remove the blockade the mob indulged into stone-pelting in which Moradabad District Magistrate Chandra Kant sustained serious injury in his eye and has been referred to Delhi.
He said that around 2 pm around 400 people blocked the railway track.
Rail traffic route were disturbed due to the agitation. Train services in both the lines were also affected, ADRM Moradabad Division, Hitendra Mehrotra said.
While train lines were later cleared of the crowd, few trains were also diverted through other lines.
Section 144 was imposed in the area. All roads were sealed.
Meanwhile, the BJP party said the action of the UP government was the result of the "frustration" of the Samajwadi Party that lost in the Lok Sabha elections and warned that today`s incident will further "flare up" the already charged atmosphere.
Sengar added that SSP Dharamveer, Circle Officer Archana, Inspector Sudhir Singh Tomar and three sub-inspectors also sustained injuries during the incident.
Kanth MLA Anisur Rehman said, "We had worked out a resolution of the issue, but then it couldn`t work out eventually, because some people opposed it".
Samajwadi Party, meanwhile termed the BJP leaders` attempt to defy the ban on holding the `mahapanchayat` as a `cheap and dirty act` and alleged that they were hell bent upon spreading violence in Uttar Pradesh.
"Since BJP has come to power at the Centre, its people are hell-bent on spreading violence and flaring up communal passion in the state," SP`s state spokesman and Cabinet minister Rajendra Chaudhary told.
BSP and Congress also accused BJP of attempting to "spoil" communal amity in Moradabad.
Senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury also took the occasion to hit out at the BJP and alleged that "after its victory in the elections (Lok Sabha), BJP is trying to flare-up communal sentiments."
"This kind of environment which they are creating was expected much before...BJP is playing dirty votebank politics which is a threat to the nation. And, it has to be stopped in Moradabad," Yechury alleged.
Sengar said that yesterday the district administration had informed him that call for mahapanchayat had been withdrawn, but later it was known that no such official announcement was made.
He said that due to efforts of the administration mahapanchayat could not be held, movement of trains was normal at Kanth railway station and the area was peaceful.
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