Why can?t this rally be put off? | india | Hindustan Times
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Why can?t this rally be put off?

SUNDAY?S ?ADHIKAR Chino Rally? by the members of the Sonkar community would be a litmus test for the district administration after Friday?s communal flare-up in which one member of the community was killed in the ensuing violence. Frantic last-minute efforts by the administration officials here on Saturday to persuade the organisers to call off the public meeting failed to cut any ice with the latter.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 01:06 IST

Admn helpless, Sonkar adamant

SUNDAY’S ‘ADHIKAR Chino Rally’ by the members of the Sonkar community would be a litmus test for the district administration after Friday’s communal flare-up in which one member of the community was killed in the ensuing violence.

Frantic last-minute efforts by the administration officials here on Saturday to persuade the organisers to call off the public meeting failed to cut any ice with the latter. Speaking to HT Lucknow Live, the man behind the show, Matesh Chandra Sonkar, chairman, Seed Development Corporation, said he would not put off the rally come what may. “The DM called me up and requested that I should postpone the programme. How can I do so at the last moment now when I have been mustering support for the event all over the State for the past two months,” he said.

He said only his supporters had spent considerable amount of money on the preparations but busloads of community members were already on their way to the State capital to attend the event. “It is not possible for me now to tell them to go back and cancel the show,” he said. He hastened to add that he had assured the administration authorities that the rally would be peaceful and nothing would be done to vitiate the atmosphere. “After all, it was I who had persuaded the members of my community to lift the cordon from the main Qaiserbagh Crossing today to normalize the situation,” he said.

Power and PWD Minister Shiv Pal Singh Yadav is also expected to show up at the rally at around 2 pm, according to Sonkar.

The move, however, has set alarming bells ringing. After their efforts to persuade the organisers to call off the rally failed, the administration officials sent an SOS in this connection to the higher-ups to intervene in the matter.

“We have already deployed whatever resources we had in maintaining law and order in the strife-torn localities. From where are we going to get additional reinforcement to ensure that the event passes off peacefully,” said an additional district magistrate.

Meanwhile, the administration authorities here said that they had formed three teams to assess the damage and loss to property in Friday's violence.