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SP Leaders Lathicharged by UP Police During Protest Over No-Entry for Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav said he was to fly to Prayagraj from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport to attend an event at Allahabad University.


Updated:February 12, 2019, 10:22 PM IST

Prayagraj: Samajwadi Party leaders and workers were lathicharged by the police in Prayagraj during protests triggered by the Yogi Adityanath government’s denial of permission for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to travel to the city.

In the clashes, SP MP Dharmendra Yadav was among the partymen injured. Yadav is set to meet Governor Ram Naik on Wednesday during which he is likely to raise the issue.

Akhilesh Yadav has claimed that he was stopped by authorities at Lucknow airport in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad, renamed Prayagraj last year, triggering protests by party lawmakers in the state legislature, outside the airport and in Prayagraj.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he was to fly to Allahabad from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport to attend an event at Allahabad University. "The government is afraid of oath-taking ceremony of a student leader and is stopping me at the airport to prevent me from visiting Allahabad," Yadav said on Twitter.

He posted photographs in which he was seen talking to police officers inside the airport.

But the airport director AK Sharma said, "I have no such information."

The issue also rocked the Uttar Pradesh legislature.

As soon as Samajwadi Party members came to know about their national president being stopped at the airport, they raised the matter during Question Hour in the assembly. "The present regime is trying to kill democracy and stop our leader from visiting Allahabad," SP leader Narendra Verma said.

The members also trooped into the Well, prompting Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to adjourn proceedings for 20 minutes. It was later extended for the entire Question Hour. When the House reassembled, agitated SP members again rushed to the Well and sat on a dharna, shouting slogans against the Yogi Adityanath government.

"Yogi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi (Yogi government's anarchy will not be tolerated)," they shouted.

Similar protests also paralysed Parliament proceedings.

The SP chief was also said to have had planned to visit the Kumbh Mela on Tuesday.

Adityanath said Yadav visited Kumbh 10 days ago and had taken a holy dip at Sangam.

"The Allahabad University had urged the government to stop his visit and the government acted," the chief minister said.

Amid all this high drama, Yadav kept tweeting that he was "prevented from boarding the airplane without any written orders". "Currently detained at Lucknow airport," he claimed.

"It is clear how frightened the govt is by the oath ceremony of a student leader. The BJP knows that youth of our great country will not tolerate this injustice anymore!" Yadav tweeted.

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