Congress smells politics in police action against party functionary

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Lucknow, Sep 26 (UNI) The Uttar Pradesh Congress unit today alleged that the police action against former DSP Shailendra Singh was taken to prevent him from appearing in the Supreme Court in a case on the misuse of public funds at the Ambedkar Memorial in the state capital.

Singh, chairman of the state Congress task force on Right to Information (RTI), had filed a petition in the apex court over the misuse of public funds in the construction of the Ambedkar memorial including installation of over 60 stone elephants, the election symbol of the BSP, at the cost of Rs one crore each. The Supreme Court had asked Singh to file a rejoinder in the case on September 29 and appear before the court.

Fromer UP chief minister Ramnaresh Yadav and former state Congress president Jagdambika Pal said here that the action against Shailendra Singh was a part of the 'political vendetta' of the Mayawati government and was against democratic ethics.

''The main reason for the arrest of Singh was to prevent him from appearing before the Supreme Court in a case over the misuse of public funds in the Ambedkar Memorial,'' they said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who reached Lucknow on her way to Rae Bareli on her two-day visit, was apprised of the incident by state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi at the airport here this morning.

The Congress had announced to hold a state-wide district level demonstration tomorrow against the illegal action against their RTI cell chairman Singh.

Meanwhile, the lower court here had rejected the bail application of Singh and sent to jail. The Congress, on the other hand, had decided to move the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to seek a bail of the ex-DSP.

The state police had arrested the former police officer in the early hours from his house at Gomti Nagar today for creating a ruckus at the State Information Commissioner's (SIC) office yesterday.

Additional Superintendent of Police (East) Harish Kumar said the former DSP was arrested, as he led a group to ransack the office of the SIC, a constitutional organisation. Cases under Section 143,147,353,504,506 and 427 of the IPC, seven Criminal Law Amendment Act and 3/4 Public Property Damage Act were registered against him at the Hazratganj police station here.

Mr Kumar said efforts were on to nab the others who were with Singh during the time of the attack.

State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi had earlier said when an ex-police officer could meet such action, what would be the situation for the common man in this regime.

The party leaders had also taken strong exception to the atrocities of the police on the family members of the former DSP and questioned the deployment of such a large number of police force at the court during his appearance. ''Was Mr Singh a terrorist or criminal,'' they asked.

Singh was charged with violence when he, along with other members of his cell, went to the SIC and raised slogans against one of the commissioners V K Mishra, who recently passed an order that any the RTI application on the pad of any political party would not be entertained.

The Congress leaders alleged that the matter at the SIC was resolved by acting Chief Information Commissioner Gyendra Sharma, then why the police had lodged case at night and was adamant on arresting Singh at night only, when he was ready to surrender in the morning.

UNI MB SB SBC HT1505

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