Opposition walks out of UP assembly over Fatehpur lathicharge

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Lucknow, Feb 25 (UNI) All four major opposition political parties in Uttar Pradesh assembly today staged a noisy walkout of the house after the state government refused to release the arrested farmers in Fatehpur and go for a judicial probe into the February 20 incident when the farmers were lathicharged.

Members of the SP, BJP, Congress and RLD raised anti-government slogans and walked out of the house after state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma said neither there was any firing nor lathicharge on the farmers demonstrating at the collectorate at Fatephur.

When the matter was raised through notices for an adjournment motion during the zero hour, the minister said only 18 people were arrested for taking law in their hands while the opposition members claim that 30 people were in the jail. He also announced a probe by the Commissioner, Allahabad division into the incident.

The government made it clear that some force was used by the police after the demonstrators, pressing their 13 point demands including distribution of drought relief to 65 villages on the Bundelkhand border, violated the rule by using loudspeakers.'' The secretary of the Bar Council of UP had also written to us about illegal plying of the loudspeakers by the demonstrators which had affected the judicial work'', Mr Verma said.

The opposition members alleged that the farmers who were demanding drought relief were lathicharged and lodged in the jail on fake cases.

Charging that the government was acting anti-farmer, the members added that in democracy such incident was not acceptable when police lathicharge peaceful demonstrators.

Earlier, the issue was raised by the opposition and speaker Sukh Rajbhar had to adjourn the house for 75 minutes due to which the question hour was not taken up.

As the House sat for the day, the members of the main opposition Samajwadi Party supported by the BJP and Congress members raised the issue of farmers' demonstration through notices for an adjournment motion.

Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar tried to pacify them and assured to take up the issue during the zero hour but the opposition members stormed into well of the House raising vociferous slogans against the government.

They alleged that the police lathicharged the peaceful 'Dera Dalo, Haq Mango' demonstration of the farmers who were demanding adequate relief measures. As many as 50 farmers got injured in the lathicharge while 32 were sent to jail.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma, though denying police's alleged highhandedness, asked the members to raise the issue after the Question hour.

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