Protests in Lucknow After Friday Prayers, Media Attacked

Protests in Lucknow After Friday Prayers, Media Attacked

A protest march after the last Friday prayers of Ramadan today turned violent here as a group of people, shouting slogans against alleged atrocities on minorities in Assam and Myanmar, resorted to stone pelting and vandalism.

The protest march which started from near the Tile Wali Masjid created a ruckus on its way forcing business establishments to close down and vandalising parks and vehicles, a senior police official said.

When the RAF and PAC tried to stop them they indulged in brick batting damaging public properties and vehicles.

"An excited group of protesters indulged in brick batting and vandalism during their march which started following a discourse after Friday prayers," SSP Lucknow RK Chaturvedi said.

The protesters also took offence to the presence of media covering the event and damaged their vehicles and equipments, police said.

Later police resorted to cane charge as the protesters tried to march towards Vidhan Sabha.

Principal Secretary (Home), RM Srivastava, who visited the areas also had to face the ire of the protesters who chased his vehicle away.

Some people have sustained injuries in the incidents and action is being taken against those who have tried to disturb peace, the SSP said.

Meanwhile, journalists sat on dharna at the GPO park demanding immediate action against those responsible for damaging their equipments.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary (Home), RM Srivastava met the journalists sitting on dharna and assured them of immediate action against those who attacked them during the protest march earlier in the day.

"Srivastava assured that an inquiry would be conducted by Commissioner Lucknow in three days and all those found guilty including officials would be punished," president of state accredited correspondents committee, Hemant Tewari said.

An FIR would be filed without delay and the scribes who suffered losses would also be compensated besides those suffering injuries would be provided free medical aid, he added.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon has condemned the violent protests.

"Violence in the state capital and some other cities of Uttar Pradesh besides attack on the media is condemnable and a dangerous indication," Tandon told newspersons here.

Demanding immediate arrest of all those responsible, Tandon said "the state government should rise above narrow politics or else, it (state government) alongwith the people would be forced to bear its consequences."

Appealing people to maintain peace, Tandon said that incidents in Assam are Hindu-Muslim clash but a fallout of local issues as well as Bangladeshi infiltration and everyone should understand it.

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