Villagers allege they were locked inside their houses as Yogi launched ‘cleanliness drive’ from Taj 

The district magistrate denied all the people were locked in their homes. He said two members of each family were invited and the rest were told to stay inside.

Villagers near the Taj Mahal alleged that they were locked inside their homes on Thursday morning ahead of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit.

“The district administration locked our homes from outside citing security reasons,” residents of Kachhpura village were quoted as saying.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath arrived in Agra to visit Taj Mahal. The Chief Minister also launched a cleanliness drive on the western gate of Taj Mahal, India’s most popular tourist draw. Hundreds of police officials were deployed at the 100-metre stretch of the Kachhpura village, which forms a part of the Mughal heritage walk that passes through the city.

As CM Yogi Adityanath was supposed to cross this stretch on foot, the district administration locked the residents inside their houses, reported News 18. They could only peer through the windows at the commotion outside.

“We wanted to see CM Yogi Adityanath, but in the morning, police came and locked us all inside. This is strange. This diktat has spoiled our excitement. The entire village is locked inside their houses. What kind of security measure is this? Everyone is angry over this action by the administration,” one of the villagers was quoted as saying. District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal, however, denied that people were locked in their homes for the safety of the Chief Minister.

“The lane was too narrow and space was limited, so we invited two members from a family each. The rest were asked to stay in their homes as there was a space crunch. The measures were taken in the wake of CM’s security and we cannot compromise with it at any cost,” Dayal told a news portal. He added that all the villagers were later allowed to come out after Yogi Adityanath asked the officials to call them.

Speaking on the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said that only barricades were places to ensure the safety of Yogi Adityanath. “No one has been locked up or jailed. Only some barricading was done and routes were diverted due to security measures. CM has a certain security protocol which needs to be followed wherever he goes,” he was quoted as saying.

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