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SP workers clash with police during FDI protests

Samajwadi Party (SP) activists Thursday clashed with the police and were baton charged in this Uttar Pradesh capital while protesting the central government decision to allow foreign equity into the retail market

Extending support to the all-India strike called by traders, workers' unions and other organisations against the decision, hundreds of Samajwadi workers -- particularly from the party's youth wing -- gathered near the state assembly and forced their way through the barriers at the site.

Shouting slogans against the Congress and the central government, the activists torched the effigies of the central government and the Walmart, disrupting traffic in Hazratganj area.

"The centre's decision to allow FDI in retail market will adversely affect the local traders and increase unemployment. We would continue to protest against the Congress government for its anti-poor stand," Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told reporters.

"As many as 10-15 of our workers have been injured in the police lathicharge," he claimed.

Traders in Lucknow staged demonstrations in various area of the city, including Lal Bagh, Aminabad and Aliganj.

"Around two lakh shops in Lucknow will remain closed to support the nationwide strike," Uttar Pradesh Adarsh Vyapar Mandal president Sanjay Gupta told reporters.

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