The police arrested more than 2,000 pro-reservation activists in Allahabad on Tuesday, foiling their bid to hold the banned Arakshan Bachao Mahapanchayat in the city.
The convention, banned by the Uttar Pradesh government, was called to press for restoration of a reservation formula introduced and later revoked by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC).
The UPPSC’s three-stage reservation for Provincial Civil Services examinations-2011 (PCS-2011) had triggered a huge controversy and Allahabad high court received several petitions challenging the move.
The police crackdown began on Sunday night with the arrest of three top pro-reservation student leaders, Dinesh Yadav, Manoj Yadav and Mukund Lal Maurya.
Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav was detained at Ghaziabad while heading for the convention. Indian Justice Peace Party president Udit Raj was taken into custody at the Bamrauli Airport in the city and sent back by another flight.
Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel was placed under preventive arrest in Bareilly.
Scrapping of the reservation formula in July and cancellation of the results of the examinations declared on its basis, following the state government’s intervention, had led to the call for the ‘mahapanchayat’ of backward castes.
Allahabad senior superintendent of police Umesh Srivastava said there were no reports of any untoward incident. “Tight vigil is being maintained. Anyone trying to disturb peace will be arrested.”