The police on Thursday detained hundreds of Samajwadi Party workers and leaders, including parliamentarians and legislators, for trying to enter Rampur city to protest the detention of party MLA Abdullah Azam and a raid on Jauhar University run by a trust chaired by party MP Azam Khan.
In the process, the police detained Abdullah Azam at his residence on Thursday morning while party MP from Moradabad, ST Hasan, was stopped at Mundha Pandey and former MP Dharmendra Yadav was taken into custody.
Following the protest call by SP brass, Rampur city was turned into a fortress and SP workers and leaders were stopped at various points from entering the city.
The SP leaders sat on dharna wherever they were stopped.
Superintendent of Police of Rampur, Ajay Pal Sharma, said that hundreds of Samajwadi Party leaders and workers were detained at the city’s border while Abdullah Azam was detained in his house.
“We are ensuring that law and order prevails in the district. Over 800 police personnel have been deployed and checking is being carried out as no permission has been taken for any protest by the Samajwadi Party,” the district police chief said.
Prominent SP leaders and legislators who were stopped and were not allowed to enter Rampur included Mahboob Ali, Iqbal Mohammad, Pinki Yadav, Ram Khilari Yadav, Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar, Atarur Rahman, Sultan Beg, Mohammad Fahim and Irfan Solanki.
The situation went out of hand as hundreds of SP workers from Moradabad, Bijnor, Badaun and Amroha sneaked into Rampur city on Wednesday night.
On Thursday morning, they staged a protest against the authorities in front of the house of Azam Khan but were soon detained.
District Magistrate AK Singh said that since Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting assembly of more than five people in one place, was in force due to Kanwar Yatra and Bakra-Eid, the entry of SP workers was banned.
On Tuesday, the Rampur police had raided Jauhar University premises and recovered over 2,500 books allegedly stolen from 250-year-old Madarasa Aliya in the city. The search for books continued on Wednesday.
Investigation in the case began in June 2016, after principal of Oriental College in Rampur, earlier known as Madarasa Aliya, Zubair Khan, lodged an FIR alleging that over 9,000 books were stolen and taken to the library of Jauhar University.