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Mulayam held for protest in UP, released
Published on 20 Jan. 2010 12:25 AM IST
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Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, placed under preventive arrest by the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday for leading protests against spiralling prices of food items in Lucknow, has now been released. Samajwadi Party workers earlier resorted to arson and stone throwing at Lucknow’s Hazratganj crossing. Police had to lathicharge protesters when they tried to break through a barricade, NDTV reported. The party workers also clashed with police when the latter tried to stop them from marching to the District Magistrate’s office. Mulayam reacted to the lathicharge saying, “It’s not fair to lathicharge people like this. We have not done anything wrong. We have been protesting peacefully. We want an explanation as to why were our workers were lathicharged.” Since morning, there had been heavy police depolyment across Lucknow to prevent large groups of people from assembling at one point. The Mayawati government had not given permission for the protest. However, the Mayawati government Tuesday ordered action against food hoarders and black-marketers, after opposition Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s state wide protest demonstration against unprecedented rise in prices of essential goods. “All district magistrates have been asked to take stern action against hoarders of essential commodities. No one would be spared no matter how high and mighty he might be,” Additional Cabinet Secretary V.S.Pandey told media persons here. He said the chief minister was of the view that the price rise was a direct consequence of the economic policies framed by the central government and, therefore, it was wrong to blame the state government for it. Pandey said the state was taking all steps within its powers to curb rising prices. Referring to Mulayam Singh-led demonstration, he flatly denied that the state administration had used any force against the demonstrators. “We gave them all freedom to stage their protest, without allowing anyone to take law into his hands,” he said. Pandey also refuted reports about Mulayam Singh having broken the security cordons to reach downtown for staging a sit-in before his arrest earlier in the day. “The local administration was clearly instructed not to obstruct former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s path, so he was allowed to move and then taken into custody because no permission was granted for a rally,” he said. Meanwhile, sugar prices fell further at the Vashi wholesale market, Mumbai today on emergence of selling by stockists. amid slew of measures initiated by the goverment to contain prices. Medium sugar quality (M-30) shed Rs 100 per quintal to Rs 3,840/3,930 from overnight closing level of Rs 3,940/ 4,030. Small sugar quality (S-30) also dropped by Rs 70/85 per quintal to Rs 3,745/3,850 against Rs 3,830/3,920.

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