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UP Congress chief, on his way to meet family of Ballia journalist, detained

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu, on his way to Ballia, was stopped by the police at Salon toll plaza near Raebareli-Pratapgarh border. After his vehicle was stopped, he decided to walk on foot towards Ballia but was again detained by the police.

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UP Congress chief, on his way to meet family of Ballia journalist, detained
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu stopped from visiting Ballia
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Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu was on Tuesday stopped from visiting Ballia to pay condolences to the family of a journalist who was shot dead on Monday. Lallu was detained by Uttar Pradesh Police in Raebareli, over 300 kilometre before Ballia. 

Lallu, on his way to Ballia, was stopped by the police at Salon toll plaza near Raebareli-Pratapgarh border. After his vehicle was stopped, Lallu decided to walk on foot towards Ballia but was again detained by the police.

This is the 23rd time that Ajay Kumar Lallu has been prevented from reaching his destination by the state police, according to reports quoting Congress sources. 

Last week, Lallu was stopped from visiting Bansgaon in Azamgarh to meet the family of a Dalit sarpanch who had been killed.

In May this year, he was arrested in Agra and sent to jail for almost three weeks.

A TV journalist working with a local Hindi news channel was shot dead on Monday night in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. The journalist identified as Ratan Singh (45) was working with a regional Hindi TV channel. 

Three prime accused have been arrested in connection with the killing, police said on Tuesday.

"Three prime accused arrested from the spot. Search for other accused is underway. Although the deceased was a journalist the incident does not involve anything related to journalism. It is completely about the land dispute between the two parties," said Subhash Chandra Dubey, DIG Azamgarh.

Opposition leaders including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over its attitude towards safety and freedom of journalists.

She added that while three journalists were killed in three months, FIRs have been filed against 11 journalists.

"Shubham Mani Tripathi was killed on June 19, Vikram Joshi was killed on July 20, Ratan Singh was killed on August 24. Three journalists were killed in three months. FIRs have been filed against 11 journalists. The attitude of the UP Government towards safety and freedom of journalists is unfortunate," she tweeted in Hindi.

Earlier in the day, she said that "crime rate metre is higher than government`s speed". In her tweet on Tuesday, Priyanka said that in two days the crime rate has doubled which shows the commitment of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. 

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