Lucknow Apr 11 (PTI)UP Congress chief Raj Babbar today demanded immediate release of Congress legislature Party leader, Ajay Singh Lallu from custody and threatened to launch a state-wide protest if the demand was not met within three days.

Congress leader Ajay Singh Lallu and others were sitting on a dharna to protest illegal mining on the banks of Gandak river in Kushinagar and they were wrongly arrested on April 6, Babbar told newspersons here.

“Illegal sand mining had been opposed by the state’s irrigation department and its officials had also written to the district magistrate of Kushinagar requesting for putting an immediate check on it but it was going on unabated,” Babbar claimed.

The Congress leader was protesting against illegal mining along with the locals as it poses a threat to the population in 36 villages but Lallu and 19 of his supporters were arrested under government pressure, he alleged.

The UPCC chief alleged illegal mining was going on in connivance with government functionaries and contractors were passing on the illegal income to those in power.

He threatened that if Singh was not released in three days the party will start a state wide protest from Kushinagar.

Babbar and other leaders and workers met Lallu in Deoria jail yesterday and staged a dharna to protest his arrest.

To a question on the charges against the BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar, Babbar said a team of the women’s wing of his party was visiting Unnao and the party will strive to ensure justice to the victim on the basis of its report.

“If required , we will also launch an agitation for the same,” Babbar added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.