2,500 SP workers booked for flouting poll code, Covid norms

Around 2,500 unidentified Samajwadi Party (SP) workers were on Friday booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct and Covid-19 protocol when they reached the party office located at Vikramaditya Marg here in large numbers. They are also accused of blocking the road by parking their vehicles in a haphazard manner.

The Election Commission of India, while taking cognizance of a report submitted by the Lucknow district magistrate regarding the violation of model of conduct in reference to the Covid-19 pandemic, directed the suspension of the SHO of Gautampalli police station, Dinesh Singh Bisht, for dereliction of duty.

The poll panel also directed that an explanation be sought by 11 am on Saturday from the ACP of the area concerned, Akhilesh Singh, and returning officer of the Lucknow Central Assembly constituency, ACM Govind Maurya, in this regard.

The FIR was registered by sub-inspector Ajay Kumar Singh, the in-charge of Bandariya bagh police outpost that falls under Gautampali police station area.

A team of the Lucknow district administration also reached the SP office for verification after being informed of the issue.

The election commission has banned political rallies, nukkad meetings, road shows till January 15 to check a surge in Covid cases.

DCP (Central) Aparna Rajat Kaushik said on Friday that around 2,500 Samajwadi Party workers and leaders gathered at the party office and violated Covid-19 protocol and model code of conduct. A case was registered against them at the Gautampali police station.

She added that the next course of action in the matter would be taken on the basis of videography and photography of the alleged incident.

According to the FIR, the complainant Ajay Kumar said that around 2 pm, when he reached Vikramaditya Marg, there was a large crowd of SP workers on the party office premises. They had come there on their vehicles, several of which were found parked in a haphazard manner, leading to blockage on Vikramaditya Marg.

Ajay Kumar claimed that the accused, despite being aware that model code of conduct is in force and section 144 of CrPC has been invoked because of the forthcoming Assembly election, they came in large numbers.

The complainant added that he requested people through loudspeaker to avoid crowding and remove some of the parked vehicles but to no avail.

Additional City Magistrate, Lucknow, Govind Maurya said, a team of district administration soon reached the spot.

The FIR was registered under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 341 (wrongful restraint). The police also invoked 3 Epidemic Disease Act and 54 Disaster Management Act against the accused.

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