Azamgarh/Lucknow, Aug 20 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and his party colleagues were prevented on Thursday from visiting the family members of Satyamev Jayate, a Dalit village head in Azamgarh district who was killed by miscreants.
Lallu, Rajya Sabha MP P L Punia and other Congress leaders were prevented by police from leaving the Azamgarh Circuit House to proceed to Basgaon village and detained there itself, party leaders said.
In the evening, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who also wanted to visit the bereaved family, was stopped near Lohra village at the Azamgarh-Ambedkarnagar border, where he and his supporters staged a dharna and raised slogans against the Uttar Pradesh government.
'A member of our Dalit community has been killed and I wanted to meet his family members, but the administration is not allowing me to go. When I have come here, I will definitely meet them,' Azad said, while suggesting that either a three-member Bhim Army delegation be allowed to go to Basgaon or the family members of the slain vilage head be brought for a meeting.
Talking to reporters, Lallu alleged that the gates of the circuit house were locked and policemen were deployed in large numbers to stop the Congress leaders from visiting the Dalit leader's village.
He launched a scathing attack on the state government, saying it has adopted an autocratic attitude by preventing people's representatives from visiting the bereaved family.
'The government wants to stop us from visiting the village. If the policemen deployed here were used against criminals, the state would have been free from crime,' the Congress leader said.
He added that he would visit the bereaved family irrespective of the consequences.
Punia too lashed out at the government, saying it is wrong to stop people's representatives from meeting people.
'I will raise the matter in Parliament,' he said.
Interestingly, many Congress leaders, seeking to visit the slain Dalit leader's village, wore blue scarves, a colour representing the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Though Congressmen remained tight-lipped over the colour of their scarves, UPCC media convenor Lallan Kumar said no party has the copyright of any colour.
'No party has the copyright of any colour. Lalluji wore a green mask. Does anyone have any objection to it?' he asked.
'If (BSP chief) Mayawati has any objection to Congress workers sporting blue scarves, let her issue a statement. She has not even visited the Dalit leader's family so far. She is merely acting as a BJP spokesperson and assisting the saffron party in the oppression of Dalits. In fact, it has always been the Congress that has fought for Dalits,' Kumar said.
Satyamev Jayate alias Pappu (42), the head of Basgaon village in the Tarwan area of Azamgarh district, was shot dead by some miscreants on last Friday, triggering violence in the area. PTI CORR SAB RC