Two SP youth wing leaders arrested, four others absconding
The Lucknow Police and the Crime Branch have exposed the Samajwadi Party’s ‘political conspiracy’ behind throwing potatoes on the streets of Chief Minister residence and Vidhan Sabha Marg on January 6 by arresting two Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha leaders.
The arrested leaders of the Samajwadi Party youth wing have been identified as Ankit Chauhan and Santosh Pal. Four other Samajwadi Party leaders, who were involved in the case are on the run. They have been identified as Sandeep alias Vicky, Deependra Singh Chauhan, and Sanju Katiyar and Pradeep Singh alias Bengali. Ankit and Pradeep Singh had contested the recently-concluded urban local bodies’ polls on the Samajwadi Party ticket from Kannauj.
Hundreds of tones of potatoes were littered on Vidhan Sabha marg and road leading to Chief Minister’s residence on January 6 to vent grouse of potato growers who were not getting right price of their produce. The State Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Sahi had alleged that the incident was the handiwork of the opposition parties and ordered a probe.
Lucknow SSP Deepak Kumar said that after the incident the crime branch had traced as many as 10,000 calls of that night and found six numbers to be suspicious. They finally traced a number of Santosh Pal and detained him. During interrogation, Sandeep admitted that they had bought potatoes from Hatia and Tirwa in Kanauj and brought it to Lucknow on the directions of the SP leaders.
They all stayed in the house of a SP leader on Mall Avenue. On January 5/6 night they, took out the vehicles which were escorted by these SP leaders and littered potatoes at CM Residence, Raj Bhawan, Vidhan Sabha marg etc and escaped from the scene.
But their act was caught in the CCTV cameras installed at the high-security CM residence, Raj Bhawan and Vidhan Sabha Marg. “We have footage of they throwing potatoes on Lucknow streets. We also have their call details which confirms their presence in Lucknow location and places where they threw potatoes,” claimed the SSP. A case under Section 431 of the IPC has been registered against the arrested SP leaders and police have launched a search to arrest other Samajwadi Party leaders involved in the case.
“It was a political conspiracy by Samajwadi Party to malign the image of the BJP government in the state and provoke potato growers against the state government,” alleged Vijay Bahadur Pathak, BJP State General Secretary.
A red-faced Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the BJP and the police. “They were potato farmers first and SP leaders later. Instead of addressing their problems, the BJP government has arrested them,” charged Akhilesh.
“I will give Yash Bharati award to police which instead of arresting criminals to control crime were conducting raids to arrest hapless farmers,” he alleged.