The Congress on Sunday demanded that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath withdraws "false" and "politically motivated" cases against the party's state unit president Ajay Kumar Lallu and release him from jail.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress chief was arrested twice on May 20 -- first in Agra for sitting on a dharna to protest against UP government not granting permission to allow buses arranged for migrants by the Congress enter the state.
He was granted bail by an Agra court and released, before being rearrested by a team of Lucknow police in a second case filed here in connection with the Congress' standoff with the state government.
Party leader Rajeev Shukla said Lallu was booked for helping migrant workers and labourers returning to the state and putting him in jail was "high-handedness" on the part of the Adityanath government.
Congress Legislative Party leader in the UP Assembly Aradhna Misra said such "misconduct" by the state government with a two-time MLA is undemocratic and uncalled for.
"We urge Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to immediately release our UPPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was only helping migrants," Shukla said.
Misra said it was unfortunate that Lallu has been put in jail and quarantined, and the UP authorities have set new rules to take his phone away on the pretext that mobile phones can help in spreading of the novel coronavirus.
"The quarantine centres in Uttar Pradesh have become torture cells and this is the reason why UP is not allowing mobile phones inside them, as it does not want the truth and their shortcomings out," she said.
"The Uttar Pradesh government has fallen so low that they have lodged Lallu in a cell with criminals and is being tortured. He has been slapped with such charges that are punishable up to life imprisonment and all this for helping migrants," she said.
She added that Lallu is not being allowed to meet his lawyer or his family members and this was a violation of his fundamental rights.
UP Congress leaders Ajay Rai and Pankaj Malik said "false cases" were being registered against Congress leaders in the state so that they are unable to offer the help to migrants. They claimed that five such FIRs have already been registered.
Misra said a party like the Congress which has fought the Freedom Struggle will not be cowed down by "false cases" and will fight it out legally.
She also alleged that the alacrity with which the UP police found and arrested Lallu, they do not do the same to nab criminals who are roaming around freely in the state.