A mob in Kanpur blocked a busy highway by offering namaz and pelted stones on police after authorities tried to disconnect electricity connections of tanneries in the city’s Jajmau area.
Officials from Kanpur Electricity Supply Company had arrived along with police to cut the electricity supply of 225 tanneries in compliance with a UP Pollution Control Board order.
But tannery owners and workers started protesting and jammed the busy Delhi-Lucknow highway. They were joined by Congress MLA Sohail Ansari, Samajwadi Party MLA Irfan Solanki and Congress ex-MP Raja Ram Pal, who took part in the sit-in.
The protesters pitched a tent on the highway and offered namaz while police stood by helplessly. Finally, police force from 15 stations along with PAC and senior officers arrived to clear the jam, but the mob started pelting stones on them.
Police resorted to lathicharge, and District magistrate Vijay Vishwas Pant and SSP Anant Deo assured tannery union that power connections would not be disconnected after which the crowd dispersed and traffic was restored.
The whole fracas lasted 4 hours and caused a traffic jam several kilometres long. Ambulances and school buses were caught up in the jam, and children & women were the worst sufferers in the sweltering heat. Many commuters, including patients, were forced to walk to reach their destination.
A case was lodged against around 70 unknown persons on Thursday. Based on CCTV footage, 4 accused – Kamran, Zeeshan, Mohsin, Shajil Ashraf – have been identified and police is conducting raids to arrest these men.
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