Lucknow: More than two dozen people, including women, were injured when hundreds of protesters, seeking appointment letters over their selection as policemen in 2013, were cane-charged here on Saturday. Taken aback by the sudden use of force by police, many protesters jumped into the Gomti river.
The protesters were agitating at the Laxman Mela grounds when police used batons to disperse them.
The agitation was going on for some days, as protesters were seeking appointment letters from the Akhilesh Yadav government.
On Saturday afternoon, a team of policemen took Rohit Kumar, who was leading the protests, to senior officials for holding negotiations with them. He was, however, taken into custody.
To disperse the agitated crowd, police then cane-charged them.
At least eight people — Pradip Kumar (Aligarh), Ravi Kumar (Kanpur), Murlidhar Yadav (Ballia), Kalicharan (Gorakhpur), Anil Chauhan (Gorakhpur), Rahul and Rakesh (Moradabad) and Dal Chandra Yadav (Firozabad) — were rescued from the river.
Opposition parties slammed the Akhilesh Yadav government for the cane charge, saying “a failed and on-the-way-out government” was resorting to dictatorship.
BJP state spokesman Manoj Mishra said that rather than creating more jobs, the Samajwadi Party government was not even able to fill the old vacancies.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state spokesman Vaibhav Maheshwari also blamed the government for the joblessness in the state, and said whenever people raised their rightful demand, brute force was used to muzzle their voice.
“It is most unfortunate and the AAP condemns the lathi charge,” he added.