Anti-CAA protest: SP workers detained in Gorakhpur

Anti-CAA protest: SP workers detained in Gorakhpur

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Hundreds of protesters, including Samajwadi Party workers and leaders, were detained in Gorakhpur and other cities of eastern Uttar Pradesh during anti-citizenship law protests on Thursday after they defied prohibitory orders, police said.

In Gorakhpur, a large number of SP workers demonstrated at Laxmibai Park and many of them were shirtless. Police detained over 300 protesters, including former minister Rampal Nishad and former MLAs Mohsin Khan and Vijay Bahadur Yadav, from there and took them to police lines.

Police said they have detained dozens of Samajwadi Party workers in Kushinagar and Deoria.

The SP also demonstrated in Maharajganj, Basti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar districts.

Former cabinet minister Brahma Shankar Tripathi was taken into police custody in Kushinagar and and police stopped former assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey at his residence in Itwa area of Siddharth Nagar. Ex-minister Rampal Nishad was also detained in Gorakhpur.

Prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 have been in place in entire Uttar Pradesh since Nov 9, banning assembly of four or more people in an area.

The police had said no permission was given for staging protests, but Samajwadi Party and a few other organisations had announced they will agitate against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi refugees who faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

However in Maharajganj, police didn't allow SP workers to come out from the party office.

Police said they had been tracking protesters with the help of drones in Gorakhpur and tried to disperse them but they refused to leave the park so were taken to the police lines.

Heavy police force was deployed at major intersections in the city.

In Kushinagar district, protesters blocked the Padrouna-Dudahi road and raised slogans against the new citizenship law when police tried to disperse them.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Sadar) Ramkesh Yadav and Circle Officer (Sadar) Rana Mahendra Pratap Singh reached there with police force and tried to pacify them but they started demanding that the protesters taken into police custody be freed.

They also pelted stones, but no report of injury has been received so far.

DM Anil Kumar Singh, SP Vinod Kumar Mishra and ADM Vindhyavasini Rai have reached the spot.

In Deoria, more than two dozen SP protesters and leaders were detained.

In Maharajganj, heavy police force was deployed outside the Samajwadi Party office and the protest venue.

In Siddharth Nagar, after police stopped former assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey at his residence, he said police is curbing their fundamental rights.

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