After they tried to break barricades, the police used water canons and cane-charged them to disperse them. Incensed members of the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (BJYM) raised slogans against Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav after which the police intensified the cane-charge and also used tear-gas shells to disperse them.

BJP leaders accused police personnel of targeting them without any provocation and termed the police action as ‘unlawful and unwarranted’.

The party also said that at least 50 of its workers were injured. However, BJP leaders said that such protests would continue over the next two weeks.

"We are a responsible political party and have all rights to raise problems faced by the people. We are not going to be cowed down by such police action at the behest of the ruling Samajwadi Party," state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

The BJP and Samajwadi Party fought a pitched battle at the same place last week, in which more than a dozen people were injured.

Senior BJP leaders led by the state unit chief Laxmikant Bajpayi staged a sit-in after which two officials were transferred and a probe was ordered.

High on the recent Lok Sabha victory, insiders say that the BJP wants to maintain a momentum against Akhilesh Yadav-led government.

Sources said that the national leadership has approved its ‘proactive’ stance on issues like law and order and power crisis and has asked the state unit to step up such protests.

The BJP won 71 out of the 80 seats in the state, while the Samajwadi Party managed just five, the Congress won two and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) drew a blank in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

Agencies

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