CHAOS PREVAILED at Naka and three different places in the old city after a mob of local residents staged blockade protesting lax role of the police in two separate incidents. Traffic was thrown out of gear for several hours in the areas affected.
While people staged an agitation in Naka after a Samajwadi Party leader and his two sons shot at a trader, residents blocked roads in Thakurganj and Husainabad as one among four youngsters, drowned in river Gomti, was yet to be traced. The agitation in the Old City began at 8.30 am and ended at 3.30 pm.
The first incident took place when Narendra Singh Dua alias Montu of Arya Nagar, who runs an electronic goods shop at Naka market, was heading towards Rajendra Nagar on his mobike to visit a friend. Montu stated that on his way, Samajwadi Party leader Raju Gandhi and two of his sons Sonu and Monu waylaid him around 1.40 pm.
The trio, Montu alleged, dragged him down from the motorcycle and started beating him brutally. As the victim offered resistance, Monu allegedly whipped out a country-made pistol and shot at Montu. The latter suffered bullet injury on his right leg while the assailants fled the scene.
Montu was admitted to Balrampur Hospital where his condition was stable. On the other hand, traders at Naka market shut down their shops and gathered at the Naka crossing outside the local police station.
The agitators demanded immediate arrest of the accused. Traffic movement was thrown out of gear on the roads leading to Aminabad, Aishbagh, Husainganj and Raqabganj.
The shootout incident was a sequel to the agitation that took place at the Naka police station on Sunday. The accused trio named in Monday shootout case was arrested in a case of attempt to murder on Saturday night. Raju Gandhi and his sons had attacked owner of Punjab Tent House and a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Balbir Singh on June 29.
Despite several attempts made by Balbir to get an FIR lodged in the case, the local police did not attend to him before Saturday night. Following influence of Raju Gandhi, cops registered a cross case on an FIR given by the accused.
The local police, however, had to arrest the Gandhis following pressure from the traders on Saturday night. But, the accused were released from the police station as SP leaders Banwari Lal Kanchhal and city president Mujibur-rehman Babloo influenced the cops.
The traders had staged an agitation on Sunday noon too protesting the police role in the matter. Senior cops had assured the agitators to initiate action against Raju Gandhi and his sons and it was only after this that the blockade was removed on Sunday.
But, the trio shot at the youth of Balbir’s group on Monday inciting the rival group of traders.
The Monday agitation continued till 4.30 pm only after the cops registered a fresh case of attempt to murder on Raju Gandhi and his sons. No arrest, however, was made till late in the night.
In another incident, residents blocked road at Balaganj crossing in Thakurganj in the morning. The agitators blocked road at Pucca Pul, Husainabad and at Ghanta Ghar, Thakurganj too.
The residents alleged that the cops were hardly bothered about getting the bodies of four youngsters fished out following which the boatmen were demanding Rs 25,000 for the job.
The agitators ended the blockade only after three bodies including those of Raju, Sagar and Asif were fished out following rigorous effort of the boatmen.
Four youngsters Raju, Asif, Sagar and Badey, all of Azad Nagar, Balaganj were drowned while taking bath in the river.