Lucknow: It was the evening of May 20, when a police team from Lucknow arrived at Agra to arrest Congress Uttar Pradesh chief’s Ajay Kumar Lallu. Lallu was just released on bail from Agra court after being arrested for holding a protest against the city administration for not granting the permission to enter the buses into the state.
The Lucknow police rearrested him in a second case filed in the Congress’s standoff with the state government over the buses offered by the party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to ferry migrants. He was slapped with the charges under the IPC sections 420, 467 and 468 for allegedly submitting fake documents listing bus details to the government.
Lallu is a two-time legislator from Tamkuhi Raj, a constituency in eastern UP, closed to CM Yogi Adityanath’s turf Gorakhpur, continues to be in Lucknow jail ever since. The controversial list was submitted to the UP government directly by Priyanka’s personal secretary Sandeep Singh, a JNU alumnus. He is a co-accused in the case but has neither been questioned nor arrested.
The list had some cars and ambulances as well while some vehicles lacked valid fitness certificates or insurance papers, the BJP government had claimed, accusing the opposition of “playing with the lives of workers”.
A senior Congress leader told FPJ, “Lallu’s case was heard today by Lucknow court and later transferred to MP/MLA court where it is listed for 28 May.” Congress calls the UP government’s move as “inhuman” and “undemocratic”. “Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi govt and violates all humanitarian principles," Priyanka tweeted on Tuesday.
"We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it is delivered," she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants. Leaders point out how another Congress leader Sachin Chaudhary too was imprisoned for 41 days for helping the needy. Amroha leader Chaudhary, who faces 11 charges including violation of the lockdown, was released on bail last week. His children had approached SC, saying their father was arrested for questioning the state administration’s style of functioning. —Kanchan Srivastava