A woman, upset at not being able to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, torched a Lucknow-bound bus on Wednesday, police said. The woman has been arrested. She has been campaigning for a separate state of Purvanchal to be carved out of Uttar Pradesh and was allegedly stopped by the police from meeting the prime minister.
Vandana Raghuvanshi, secretary of the Poorvanchal Jan Andolan Samiti, went to the Varanasi bus stand at around 11 am and boarded a state-run Volvo luxury bus. She asked the passengers to get off the bus and, according to an eyewitness, sprinkled petrol in the bus and set it on fire.
No passengers were injured as they got off the bus before the fire could spread.
The bus was partially burnt and it took fifteen firemen more than an hour to douse the flames.
Vandana Raghuvanshi also distributed pamphlets at the bus stand demanding a separate state.
She said that she has been trying to meet PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for a long time for her demand of a separate state but in vain. She tried to meet PM Modi on his birthday celebrations but was allegedly stopped by the police.
Ms Raghuvanshi was on an indefinite fast since Auguest 15 to press for her demand. When her condition worsened, she was force-fed on August 29, police told news agency IANS.
The woman complained that the media did not cover her agitation when she protested in a peaceful manner, adding that after setting the bus on fire, her message would reach PM Modi and Yogi Adityanath.
PM Modi was in Varanasi on Monday and Tuesday as he celebrated his 68th birthday on September 17 and launched many projects the next day.
(with inputs from PTI and IANS)
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