Social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey was on Friday not allowed to participate in a candlelight march at GPO Park in Hazratganj, Lucknow, reported The Times of India. The rally was in protest against the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
“The police arrived again today at my and advocate Mohammad Shoaib’s place to house arrest us and other activists an hour and a half before candle light demonstration at Gandhi statue, Hazratganj, Lucknow scheduled at 6 pm,” Pandey said in an email.
This is the second time in a week that Pandey has been put under house arrest. On August 11, he and his wife Arundhati Dhuru were placed under house arrest in Lucknow for a few hours. They had organised an event against the abolition of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
After his house arrest, Pandey had postponed the protest to August 16. On August 11 itself Pandey had expressed doubts about the police allowing the protest. “We are preparing for arrest, or whatever,” Pandey had said.
During his earlier house arrest, Pandey had said that the police arrived suddenly in four vans and told them that they cannot stage the dharna because of prohibitory orders. “They said the prohibitory orders would be lifted after Independence Day,” the activist had said. “So I told them that we would stage the dharna after the orders are lifted. Yet, they are standing outside my house and no one is allowed to enter or leave the house.”
However, Pandey said he was unaware he was under house arrest until 1.30 pm that day, when he had tried to go out to buy bread, but was stopped. Pandey added that the police outside his house told him they were under orders not to let him and Arundhati Dhuru out till 4 pm. The activist said that the station house officer of Hazratganj arrived that afternoon, after which the police left.