BSP workers throng Dalit park
Vandana Keelor, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 03.58AM IST
NOIDA: Even as Akhilesh Yadav was being sworn in as the new chief
minister of Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow, nearly 200 BSP workers gathered
at the Dalit Prerna Sthal and shouted slogans demanding to be let into
the park that has not yet been opened to the public. The BSP workers
had assembled at the park to celebrate their late leader Kanshiram's
birthday on Thursday. While the city police and the administration had
a tough time controlling the unruly crowd, traffic was disrupted for
hours in the area.
Around 8am, hundreds of BSP supporters convened at the Dalit Park.
They came in by busloads and several other vehicles to pay tribute to
and garland the Kanshiram statue inside the park. They were stopped
from entering at the gates by the security personnel posted to guard
the park. Angry at being stopped, the BSP workers sat on a dharna on
the road, protesting the denial to be let inside. "We have come here
to pay respect to our leader on his birthday and are very upset at
being stopped by the guards," said a senior party leader leading the
supporters. "How can the park be closed when Mayawatiji inaugurated
the Prerna Sthal in October last year?" he asked.
Soon the police arrived and tried to control the huge crowd as well as
the resulting traffic snarl. Trying to calm the protestors, Noida SP,
Anant Dev Tiwari agreed for one group to enter the park to pay homage.
Even as the guards opened the gates, the huge crowd barged in and
created further chaos. The police had to forcibly remove some of the
BSP workers who, in protest, started bursting firecrackers.
Even as the city police tried to reason with the protestors and told
them that they should have sought prior permission to congregate at
the park, party leaders maintained that they did not want to clash
with the police. "We do not want to create any tension or violence. We
just wanted to peacefully celebrate our founder's birth anniversary,"
said a party supporter.
Meanwhile, many commuters on their way to their offices in the morning
faced a harrowing time as the entire stretch from the Noida entry gate
to the start of Noida-Greater Noida expressway near the Mahamaya
flyover was choked. "We are fed up of political parties protesting
something or the other. They need to realize the inconvenience they
put people to with their antics," said a commuter on his way to Delhi.
Mayawati's dream park was unveiled on October 14 amid much fanfare,
but was closed to the public the next day as officials claimed that
the park still needed some work to be completed.
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