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Congress legislator among 100 arrested for Varanasi violence

Over 100 people, including a Congress legislator, were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the violence in Varanasi on Monday, police said.

Congress legislator Ajay Rai was arrested from the Babatpur airport in Varanasi late on Tuesday evening.

Police said they were cracking down on elements who had fomented trouble during the ‘Sant Pratikar Yatra’ on Monday, leaving more than 60 people injured, property vandalised and many vehicles gutted.

A case has also been registered against Swami Avimukteshwaranand, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said the Congress legislator was booked under “serious” sections, and another Congress leader Raghvendra Choubey has also been arrested.

Ajay Rai had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election against Narendra Modi, but lost.

Of the 56 people arrested on Tuesday, most were presented in court by police and 48 were sent to custody by the additional chief judicial magistrate.

Varanasi is Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency and the Prime Minister’s Office had sought a report on the violence in the city.

Soon after, the chief minister’s office in Lucknow got working and ordered police to crack down on anyone involved in inciting the mob.