FIR Lodged Against Congress Leader After Stampede-Like Situation at Marathon

The marathon was part of the party's "ladki hun, lad sakti hun (women can fight)" election campaign.

3 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

An FIR has been lodged against Congress district chief Mirza Ashfaque Saqlaini and other unidentified persons following a "stampede-like situation" during a marathon organised by the party in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly on Tuesday, 4 January, reported IANS.

The event, held on Tuesday, was part of the Congress' "Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon" (women can fight) Assembly election campaign.

The visuals of the incident showed that girls had amassed in large numbers, with little adherence to COVID protocol, despite the rising number of cases in the state.


3 Girls Injured in Incident, Says Cop

Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rohit Singh Sajwan said, "A case was lodged on Tuesday night against the organisers of the marathon after a probe by the district administration. A police officer said that three girls fell and sustained injuries during the marathon."

The case has been lodged under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly 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 various other Sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act.

The SSP said, "We will identify the others responsible for the event during further investigation."

City magistrate Rajiv Pandey said, "Permission was given for 200 children. However, the number of those who actually turned up for the event was much higher."

NCPCR Takes Suo Motu Cognisance

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took suo motu cognisance of the incident.

In a letter, the NCPCR asked the Bareilly district magistrate to submit an action-taken report within 24 hours, reported IANS.

The letter also stated that prima facie, inviting children into such political activities, appears to be in violation of Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and also a violation of COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state government.

The letter further stated, "Therefore, in view of the sensitive nature of the matter, it is requested that your good offices may kindly look into it and initiate necessary inquiry to ensure the welfare and safety of children by lodging an FIR at the first instance, under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and relevant Sections of the lPC."

Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi alleged that the notice sent by NCPCR was part of a conspiracy hatched by the BJP.

"The women of UP have been empowered by the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi. The BJP is doing everything to stop women from participating in politics. They are using the commission to target us. But we will not stop. Where was the commission when children were walking barefoot during the lockdown imposed due to COVID," said Awasthi.


Reacting to the situation, Congress leader Supriya Aron had earlier said:

"What happened to pilgrims in Vaishno Devi? It is a human tendency to stay ahead. And these are young children…schoolgirls…so a little bit of running will happen."

Further, Aron added: "I request my brothers in the media...if anyone has been hurt, I want to say sorry on behalf of the Congress."

With the Assembly elections round the corner, all political parties are attempting to woo female voters, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now launching new schemes, and the Samajwadi Party (SP) attempting to highlight its women-centric initiatives.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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