Lucknow: Leaders of farmers organisations, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress were either taken into custody or put under house arrest across Uttar Pradesh to prevent them from holding demonstrations during the Bharat Bandh on Tuesday.
Former minister Arvind Singh Gope of the Samajwadi Party was put under house arrest in Barabanki.
“Since morning, these policemen are at my house and they have not even allowed me to go to the nearby Hanuman temple even though I go there on Tuesdays. This government is not even allowing us to offer prayers,” he told IANS on phone.
SP MLAs also staged a dharna at Vidhan Bhawan to register their protest against the farm laws.
In Rae Bareli, SP leader Manoj Pandey was put under house arrest while SP MLA Amitabh Bajpai was detained at his house in Kanpur.
Congress spokesman Anshu Awasthi was detained in Hardoi.
State president of Kisan Manch, Devendra Tiwari, was detained in Lucknow and more than a dozen SP leaders were taken into custody in Varanasi.
UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu said that his party workers had been targeted by the police in almost every district of the state. He said that this kind of action would not deter the Congress and the party would continue to fight for the farmers.
Congress spokesman Ashish Awasthi said, “Our party leaders have been either put under house arrest or taken into custody in almost every district. The government is using the police to thwart the agitation.”
Meanwhile, all shops in Lucknow and other districts of the state remained open and public transport plied on the roads. A few shopkeepers, apprehending trouble, kept their establishments closed in the morning but most of them opened up by noon.
In Lucknow, all markets including Hazratganj, Lalbagh, Aminabad, Kaisar Bagh opened in its usal business hours. Three MLCs of the Samajwadi Party — Sunil Sajan, Anand Bhadoria, Ashu Malik — sat on a dharna in support of the farmers inside the Assembly.
On the shutdown, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said maintaining peace and order in the state is the top priority of the government, adding that in no case there should be any compromise on the law and order front.
The Dubagga Mandi wore a deserted look since morning. The Naveen Galla Mandi on Sitapur Road was, however, open.
Rinku Sonkar, president of the Fruit and Vegetable Welfare Association of Naveen Galla Mandi, said that if the mandi does not open, the stocks would go waste, adding the farmers on their own were bringing fruits and vegetables.
The farmers’ organisations have staged demonstrations in different places in the rural areas of Lucknow. More than a dozen farmer leaders have been detained at different places.
Section 144 has been imposed in the capital Lucknow.
Lucknow DM Abhishek Prakash said that Section 144 is applicable in Lucknow Rural as well since last night.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that maintaining peace in the state is the top priority of the government. He directed the administrative and police officials to ensure adequate arrangements are put in place so that the common man does not face any problem.
He said that the Central and State Governments are constantly working for the farmers’ welfare.
He said that the officials should communicate with the farmers associations and representatives at the local level and make them aware of the provisions of the new agricultural laws and solve their problems.