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Taking cognizance of the report presented by Lucknow District Magistrate in view of the violation of COVID protocols after hundreds of people turned up at the Samajwadi Party’s office on Friday to physically attend a ‘virtual rally’, UP Chief Election Commissioner has directed for the suspension of police station in-charge Gautampalli, Dinesh Singh Bisht.

The Chief Election Commissioner in an official statement said that the police station in-charge Gautampalli has been suspended with “immediate effect due to gross negligence in the discharge of duties.”

“Taking cognizance of the report of the District Magistrate, Lucknow, sent by the Election Commission of India on January 14 regarding the violation of the Model Code of Conduct, issued by the Election Commission of India, instructions have been given to suspend the police station in-charge Gautampalli, Dinesh Singh with immediate effect due to gross negligence in the discharge of duties,” the official statement read.

Apart from this, the commission has sought clarification from Assistant Commissioner of Police Akhilesh Singh and Returning Officer 174-Lucknow Central Vidhan Sabha constituency, Additional Municipal Magistrate-I Govind Maurya by 11 am today.

Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash on Friday had said that the rally was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and COVID-19 protocols. An FIR has been registered in the matter.

Lucknow Commissioner of Police DK Thakur had said that around 2500 people gathered at the Samajwadi Party office.

“As per Election code of conduct no rally, the gathering can happen till January 15. Our team reached there and captured the event. Based on the violations, we’ve registered a case,” he said.

Reacting to the incident, party state president, Naresh Uttam Patel said that the people came because of their love for Akhilesh Yadav adding that they followed the COVID protocols and wore masks.

“There was a virtual press conference by Akhilesh Yadav, but it was the love of the people that they came here. It is not the fault of the workers of our party or our party either,” he told ANI.

The state president further termed the visit of the police wrong and claimed that no action is taken against the crowd in the market under the watch of the BJP ministers.”There was a virtual programme of the joining of the leaders. Nobody was invited by the Samajwadi Party here at the office. But the people came and followed the COVID protocols, wore masks. No action was taken against the crowd in the market under the watch of the ministers of the BJP. And they are taking action against the virtual programme in the Samajwadi Party’s office. This is wrong,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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