Police used water cannons, lobbed tear gas shells and lathi-charged activists of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), led by its chief Anurag Thakur, to prevent them from marching towards the Parliament to protest corruption and price rise on Tuesday.
Around 50 BJYM workers were injured in the lathi charge, along with 23 policemen when the protestors threw stones, bricks, bottles and sticks at them.
After walking down from the Ramlila Maidan rally, the BJYM workers reached Parliament Street police station, where the police have imposed section 144 and put up heavy three-layered barricading. The protestors were continuously warned to not cross the barricades.
However, when the BJYM activists still pressed ahead, police had to resort to lathi-charge. Thakur and several others injured. Press photographers — Sonu Mehta from HT and Shekhar Ghosh from Dainik Bhaskar — too were injured in the mêlée.
“This is the second attack by Delhi Police after Baba Ramdev to curb voices against corruption,” Thakur claimed.
According to police, the BJYM had given them written understanding that they would hold a peaceful protest march.
“But the activists turned violent, damaged the stage erected for speeches, climbed on to police barricades and indulged in stone-pelting,” Dharmendra Kumar, special commissioner of police (law and order) said. A case of rioting and damage to public property has been lodged at the Parliament Street police station.
The BJYM rally from the Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street led to massive traffic snarls on the Ranjit Singh flyover, Tolstoy Marg, Janpath, Parliament Street, Ashoka Road, in CP and at ITO.
Earlier in the Ramlila grounds, BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj among others addressed the rally and came down heavily on the UPA government.
“Congress is hesitant in asking Dikshit to step down as after her it will be the prime minister’s turn,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari said. Advani charged the PM with heading the “most corrupt government” since independence.