Lucknow: Many people were injured Saturday evening as Samajwadi Party and BJP workers came to blows here, police said. Two police officials were later transferred for their "alleged involvement and inaction" in the scuffle.
The clash took place outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state headquarters, when hundreds of workers of the ruling Samajwadi Party started protesting against the railway fare hike effected Friday by the BJP-led union government.
Carrying placards and raising anti-BJP slogans, Samajwadi Party workers burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
When BJP workers came out to protest, the Samajwadi Party workers began pelting stones at them.
The BJP workers retaliated and raised anti-Samajwadi Party slogans and slammed the state government over the poor law and order situation in the state.
A melee broke out and angry Samajwadi Party workers indulged in further violence.
While all this happened, policemen remained mute spectators.
Commuters on the busy Vidhan Sabha road were stopped and traffic was blocked on the road.
The action against Hazratganj Inspector Ashok Verma and SHO Darulshafa Vijayveer Singh Sirohi followed after a sit-in and angry protests by BJP workers at the SSP's office.
Police said the matter was sorted out and heavy police deployment was ordered to check any further violence.
State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi staged a sit-in at the office of the Lucknow senior superintendent of police and said he would not call off his stir until competent officials came and met them.
He also accused police of inciting the violence and said the district administration remained mute spectators to the vandalism of the ruling party workers.
"I specifically charge the additional district magistrate and senior police officials of patronising the mischief makers," Bajpayi told IANS, demanding tough action against such elements.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Lucknow Navneet Sikera later announced the removal of the two officials and said this was being done so that they cannot influence the probe that was simultaneously ordered.
The DIG also assured the angry BJP leaders that he would go through the video-recording and photographs of the incident and added that if found guilty, further action would be taken against the officials.
The two parties have been at daggers drawn ever since the Samajwadi Party lost to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP along with its ally Apna Dal won 73 of the 80 seats in the state while the Samajwadi Party's numbers slipped to five. In the aftermath of the poll results, four BJP leaders have been shot dead and many others attacked, leading to allegations that the Samajwadi Party was indulging in politics of vendetta.