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Cops blind to mayhem

WOMEN, SENIOR citizens and children were left troubled in different parts of the city for the entire day on Thursday?all due to lax policing.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2006 00:55 IST

Traders versus students, police versus mob…

WOMEN, SENIOR citizens and children were left troubled in different parts of the city for the entire day on Thursday—all due to lax policing.

School children and commuters were manhandled and left stranded for over five hours in Chowk, Madiaon, Khurram Nagar, City Station and Aishbagh areas following agitation on separate issues since morning through late afternoon.

Significantly, police officials did not deem fit to visit the spots and left but only a few constables to handle the situation.

The first incident took place at the Chowk crossing around 11 am about 10 steps away from the local police station when a group of about two-and-half dozen students reached Shri Lassi Corner. The students collected tokens for food but engaged in a tiff with the shop owner when it came to pay for the stuff.

The shop owner, Ramesh Gupta, hurled expletives at a few of the students who turned violent. It was a free-for-all at the crossing as students went on the rampage damaging furniture in the shop and smashing dozens of soft drink bottles.

The students even hit a bottle on Gupta’s head leaving him injured critically. Hooligans did not spare even employees of the shop who tried to rescue Gupta.

Meanwhile, traders gathered around the place forcing troublemakers to beat the retreat.

The group of traders later chased the students and caught three of them identified as Alok Singh, a BA III student of Kalicharan College, Shiv Shanker Singh, BA I student of the KKV College and BA II student of Lucknow Christian College, Ehtesham. The mob of traders assaulted the trio brutally before dragging them to the police station.

While students and the traders were engaged in the clash for over an hour, CO Chowk and SHO Chowk were missing from their respective offices.

However, the clash led to utter chaos later in Chowk and Thakurganj areas asboth students and traders took law and order for ransom for over three hours staging aggressive road blockades.

While students dragged passengers out of a city bus to park it haphazardly for blocking the Hardoi Roadat Koneshwar crossing, traders blocked the road at Chowk crossing. Students and traders not only misbehaved with the commuters forcing them to stay away from the blocked area, they did not spare even small kids returning from schools with their guardians.

The agitation by the students and traders continued till 4 pm as none of the police officials had reached the spot. Merely two constables were seen at the place diverting the traffic to other roads.

The police officials woke up late in the noon and called up traders and students at the Chowk police station who were leading the agitation. Both groups entered into heated exchange several times even in the presence of cops before the issue was settled.

Similar clash between traders and student of DAV College took place at Aishbagh when students damaged property of Panchhi Petha Bhandar over a money dispute.

On the other hand, members of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) gheraoed the Madiaon police station for over three hours protesting release of some land mafia from the police station. Cops allegedly had let the mafia go despite their having grabbed land of the poor farmers recently.

Similarly, traders at Khurram Nagar blocked the road for over two hours demanding suspension of a constable at the local outpost. The constable had assaulted a trader a few days back after the latter had refused an extortion demand.

First Published: Feb 24, 2006 00:55 IST