An FIR was lodged against 21 persons, including three former BJP MLAs, for allegedly staging a demonstration and burning the effigy of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav during a protest against hike in power tariffs, a senior officer said in Badaun.
"Senior BJP leaders and former MLAs along with their supporters staged a demonstration and burnt an effigy of the chief minister at Indira Chowk in Civil Lines on Friday evening about which information was received from the intelligence department," superintendent of police Maan Singh said.
He said that on the complaint of roadways police outpost incharge Surendra Singh, an FIR was lodged against 14 people, including BJP's Ruhelkhand president BL Verma, former MLA and district president Prem Swaroop Pathak, ex-MLAs Avneesh Kumar Singh and Mahesh Gupta and seven unidentified persons late on Saturday night.
The FIR has been lodged on charges of blocking road, burning effigy and creating anarchy.
BJP, while condemning the lodging of FIR against its leaders, alleged that the police acted in an undemocratic manner.
"In a democracy, every person has a right to express his resentment, but it seems that the state government is trying to curb the democratic right of the people," BJP's chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak alleged.
He demanded that the case lodged against BJP leaders and former MLAs be withdrawn immediately.
"While on the one hand the SP leaders claim that after formation of the party's government in the state democracy has been restored on the other FIR is being lodged against those demonstrating democratically," Pathak said.
"The government should immediately withdraw the FIR and action should be taken against policemen responsible for this," he added.
Pathak said that the state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai has said that the issue would be raised across the state and an agitation would be launched.