SP men attack staff at toll plazas

Ruling Samajwadi Party leaders and their supporters allegedly assaulted the staff at two toll plazas and brandished their weapons when they were asked to buy tokens just days after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned his partymen that hooliganism will not be tolerated.

Ajitmal Block chief Devendra Yadav and his gunner allegedly beat up employees of Mohari toll plaza in Auraiya Friday night when they were asked to pay the tax, sources said.

They also thrashed officials who rushed to mediate, police said. An FIR was later filed by victims at Ajitmal Kotwali against unknown persons.

In the second incident, a local SP leader along with his aides were caught on camera assaulting toll plaza staff on the Lucknow-Faizabad highway when they were asked to pay the fee.

"Pappu Yadav and three persons were going from Faizabad to Lucknow. At Raunahi toll plaza, they had a fight with the staff in which one person on duty was hurt. We have filed a case and culprits will face action," Piyush Ranjan Srivastav, SP (Rural), said.

The toll plaza personnel, including a guard who suffered a fracture in his hand in the attack, alleged SP workers refused to take tokens and threatened them with guns before assaulting them.

CCTV footage showed SP workers attacking the toll booth manager inside his cabin.

"They came with pistols. When we stopped the car for token, they started abusing us and threatened the security personnel as well," said Kranti Kumar Singh, the toll plaza manager.

Security Guard Hakim Singh said, "The car stopped and they brandished their guns. When we asked them to take tokens, they refused and started beating me. When I tried to escape, they followed me. They attacked me and I have suffered a fracture."

Sources claimed it was routine for the ruling party men to not pay toll tax.

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