Police on Monday used force to disengage supporters of Congress who traded blows with activists of Samajwadi Party's youth wing staging a demonstration against the visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Allahabad.
The activists of SP's youth wing, who were protesting Congress-led UPA government's "failure" to restore students' union in Allahabad University which was granted central status in 2005, shouted slogans asking Gandhi to "go back".
This drew angry response from a group of Congress supporters who were standing across the road to welcome Gandhi and soon the two sides came to blows, the police said adding that "mild use of force was resorted to" for bringing the situation under control.
Gandhi, party general secretary, is here to attend a function organised by the party's student wing NSUI in line with his strategy to induct more young blood into Congress, especially in Uttar Pradesh where assembly polls are due next year, by exhorting young men and women to take a more active interest in political affairs.
The function is being held at the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), which is celebrating the 50th year of its establishment and where Rahul is scheduled to interact with a group of more than 500 students drawn from MNNIT as well as other institutions of higher learning in the city.
Barely half an hour before Gandhi's arrival at the airport, a group of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha gathered near the MNNIT campus, where a team of the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) had been camping since Saturday and entry of general public has been restricted since this morning.