Not taking any chances this time with the anti-government agitation of Samajwadi Party on Thursday, the police confined the party workers to an area and water-cannoned them. The party's January 19 agitation had been a major embarrassment for the police and district administration when the party leaders and workers had their way.
The Thursday agitation was planned to attack the state government on "breakdown of law and order machinery" in the state. The party's city unit organisied a procession from the unit's Kaiserbagh headquarters and march to the Governor's House to give a memorandum. The memorandum demanded dismissal of the government.
However, the police barricaded all roads from the area to the Governor House. Despite barricades, the party workers attempted to march ahead. To check the march, the police first used a mild force and then the riot squad aimed thick jet of water from its water cannons.
Drenched and cold, the workers held a sit-in at the Kaiserbagh crossing. Party's two Rajya Sabha members, Bhagwati Singh and Ram Narain Sahu, led the sit-in. "It was a peaceful process where none of us were armed. Police used such heavy arrangements to check our march, but nothing was being done to control the crime scenario which has gone worse," said Md Hanif Khan, one of the city unit leaders who also addressed the sit-in earlier.
Some workers burned an effigy of the chief minister, Mayawati.
Bhagwati Singh in his speech said that even in the state capital condition has gone so bad that multiple murders occur in a day. Just recently on a single day five people were killed, and police were sitting pretty. He said that in last two-and-a-half year crime scenario had turned scary, traders were looted all over the state, many were killed and no one felt safe. The government had failed on all fronts and must be dismissed.
The city unit president, Sushil Singh; district Mahila Sabha president, Chandra Rawat and city Mahila Sabha president, Munni Pal, Ravidas Mehrotra and Md Hanif were among the other party leaders who were in the process that later turned into a sit-in.
A delegation of the leaders gave a memorandum (addressed to the Governor) to a district officer. The agitation, apparently, caused intense traffic snarl ups all around the Kaiserbagh area despite it being a weekly closure of the market in the area.
In the January 19 agitation about 7,000 workers courted arrest across the state and the party president, Mulayam Singh Yadav managed to dodge the police and ended up brining the main market area-Hazratganj to a halt.