They tried to lay siege to the CM's residence and the Assembly. The massive strength surprised the police, which resorted to lathi-charge. Dozens of youths were injured in the cane-charge.
The protests began from Allahabad. Under the pressure of the Upper Castes, the State government had backtracked on the three-tier reservation in Public Service Commission (PSC) examination. But the pro-reservation youths have intensified their protest.
This is the first time when students from reserved category have asserted strongly in Lucknow, which is considered the centre of North Indian upper caste politics. The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) government had announced that at every stage, the backward castes' candidates will get benefit of reservation in the PSC.
But after the upper caste outrage, the government withdrew the order. The Upper Castes mainly consist of Brahmins, Thakurs (Rajputs), Banias and Kayasthas. They together comprise less than 15% of Uttar Pradesh's population. However, they comprise more than 50% in jobs.
Those against reservation wanted UPPSC to withdraw the decision taken on May 27 as per which OBC candidate was allowed to be invited for interview under general category if he scored equal or better marks than the lower cut-off marks in general category. The issue is now in the court.
In Allahabad also, pro-reservation quota youths took a march. They staged demonstration and went on rampage, damaging vehicles and targeting a politician' residence. Reservation is a major issue in North India where jobs are less and the 85% majority comprising Dalits (SCs), Tribal (STs), OBCs and Muslims remain far behind in terms of employment.