Youth volunteers protest outside Gandhi Smriti

Several youths on Sunday protested outside Gandhi Smriti ahead of PM Manmohan Singh`s visit.

New Delhi: Several youths on Sunday protested
outside Gandhi Smriti here ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh`s visit, alleging that some of their Kashmiri colleagues
were denied permission to attend the prayer session.

The incident took place at Gandhi Smriti when a group of
youth volunteers came to the location, 90 minutes before Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh was to attend a function there. Three
volunteers fell unconscious in the melee.

"We were protesting against the denial of permission of
three female volunteers from Jammu and Kashmir by the security
personnel to participate in the prayers` meeting at Gandhi
Smriti on the Gandhi Jayanti occasion," said Dibya Jyoti
Saikia, a volunteer of youth leadership development programme
organised at the Gandhi Darshan Samiti.

Volunteers protested when some of their colleagues were
not allowed to enter the building. Union Minister Kumar Selja
later came there and tried to persuade the volunteers to end
their protest.

She even made the security personnel who prevented the
volunteers to apologise to them.

Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), KC
Dwivedi said the incident took place at around 3:30 PM well
before the Prime Minister`s arrival at the spot. He refused to
divulge further details.

Taj Hassan, Joint Commissioner of Police (PM Security)
could not be contacted for comments.

Police had tightened the security as the Prime Minister
was attending the prayer meeting at the Gandhi Smriti.

There are about 300 youth volunteers from Northeast and
Jammu and Kashmir who had participated in the seven-day camp
at the Smriti.

"We are supposed to participate in the prayer meeting
here and we have valid passes for the function. Despite having
valid passes security men told them that since they are from
Jammu and Kashmir they have to prove their identity.

"These girls were shocked hearing this and fainted. They
are being now taken to the AIIMS for treatment. Since they
were denied permission, we all have decided to boycott the
prayer meeting which would be attended by the Prime Minister,"
Saikia claimed.

It is strange that the camp was organised for national
integration while the action of security men are very much
against national integration, he remarked.


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