The proposed Congress padyatra to oppose the Uttar Pradesh government’s patronage to former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand in a woman molestation case, has been banned by the district authorities and the party leaders have been taken in custody or detained before were slated to start their march on Monday morning.
Meanwhile a local court is slated to hear the bail pleas of Swami Chinmayanand and the victim, arrested for blackmail, on Monday afternoon.
Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lalu along with party senior spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi and other party leaders have been taken in custody from their respective hotels in the morning and were taken to the police lines.
Another former Union minister Jitin Prasada. who is a local leader of the party, was detained in his residence and was not allowed to come out.
Large contingent of police force has been deployed in several places in the city whereas the Congress leaders are adamant in bringing out the Shahjahanpur to Lucknow, 170 Kms padyatra, demanding action against the molester in the Shahjahanpur woman rape case.
District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh said here on Monday, that no permission has been given to the Congress to bring out the padyatra as section 144 of the CrPC is enforced in the district in view of the festivals.
“We will take action if someone try to violate the law, who ever he might be,” the DM said while admitted that several of the Congress leaders have been detained at the police lines and some in their residence.
Meanwhile, UP Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lalu, talking to UNI on phone from police lines in detention, said that party would do whatever required for getting justice for the Shahjahanpur daughter.
“We are ready to go to jail and can go to any extent for getting the justice in the Shahjahanpur case where a molestor has been given patronage by the BJP government,” he said.
Congress leader Jitin Prasada , who has been put under preventive custody at his residence, said ,”Congress today wanted to hold a march to highlight the plight of the Shahjahnpur rape victim but the local administration is not allowing it. Tell me how is it a violation of law? It’s unfortunate.”
“Yogi government want to crush the democratic rights of the people. How can the authorities take such vindictive action to prevent a peaceful padyatra,” he questioned.
The Congress had on Saturday last announced the padyatra from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow starting on Monday thus changing their padyatra to be held on the occasion of the 150 anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to be held in the state capital on October 2.
Now the party has decided for the eight day long Padyatra from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow through Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur, to end in the state capital on October 7 with a big demonstration.
The Party during their padyatra would also display several posters highlighting the slogan of BJP `Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ and and changing it to `BJP walo sey Beti Bachao’.
Congress general secretary (UP East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also slated to join the padyatra in Lucknow.