Magsaysay award winner and social activist Sandeep Pandey was on Sunday put under house arrest for several hours and barred from leaving his house here by the Lucknow police after he had announced a candlelight march in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 and the clamp down on communication in the state.
Arundhati Dhuru, wife of Sandeep Pandey and an activist herself, said in a text message: “There are police outside our home, not allowing any of us to go out.”
However, she said the police team left the residence around 4 pm.
Local civil society activists, NGOs under the banner Stand for Kashmir, and Sandeep Pandey had announced a demonstration “in support of people of Kashmir” at 6 pm on Sunday.
The demonstration was to be held near Gandhi statue in Hazratganj.
“Sandeep Pandey was put under ‘house arrest’ even after he had informed the police that the protest was postponed to August 16 in view of security concerns for Bakrid and Independence Day,” said Rajeev Yadav of Rihai Manch, a civil rights group based in UP that was to take part in the demonstration.
“No security in Lucknow, leave Kashmir aside. Lucknow police officers’ dictatorial direction,” he said.
Senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib said pressure was also exerted on him by the police to call off the demonstration.
“When I told them we were willing to be arrested under the relevant legal sections for holding a protest, they told me they did not want to arrest us,” he said.
Police personnel led by circle officer and station house officer rank officers had gone to his residence but left soon after.