The Congress held a protest march in Lucknow on Monday despite a ban on it by the Mayawati government. The ‘Nyaya march’ was part of the party’s efforts to corner the government on the law and order situation in UP.
Since June 19, the state has witnessed 13 cases of rape. The party also demanded a CBI probe into the mysterious death of deputy chief medical officer (CMO) Dr YS Sachan in the Lucknow jail hospital last week.
The wary government had refused permission for the protest march on Sunday. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been in force in the city for a month.
But around 1pm, the Congress managed to hold a token walk of around 100 metres from the Bal Sanghralaya in Charbagh in south-west Lucknow, before being stopped by the police.
The leaders of the party, including its state unit chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari and former chief minister Ram Naresh Yadav, were detained. So were around 1,000 Congress workers.
Terming the march a gimmick, the ruling BSP said it was meant to divert attention from the UPA’s anti-people policies.
After their release in the afternoon, the leaders submitted a memorandum to the governor and demanded CBI probes into the rape and murder of a minor girl in Lakhimpur Kheri, the death of Sachan and the murders of CMOs Dr Vinod Arya and Dr BP Singh.
The government, meanwhile, asked the police to launch a drive from July 1 to check atrocities on women. CM Mayawati will undertake a tour in August to review the situation.