Fresh crackdown on BJP leaders ahead of flag hoisting

In a fresh crackdown on BJP activists, four senior party leaders were on Tuesday detained at the airport here immediately after their arrival for participating in hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk on Republic Day.

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2011, 15:01 PM IST

Srinagar: In a fresh crackdown on BJP
activists, four senior party leaders were on Tuesday detained at
the airport here immediately after their arrival for
participating in hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk on
Republic Day tomorrow.

Three BJP MLAs - Jugal Kishore, Gharu Ram and Sham
Chaudhry and a party leader from Udhampur Pawan Khajuria -
were not allowed to leave the airport for taking part in the
flag hoisting plan, officials said.

Their detention came a day after senior BJP leaders
Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar were stopped at
Jammu airport ahead of the party`s march to Srinagar and were
later taken out of the state to Punjab by road.

The three leaders were not allowed to leave the
airport for over five hours and they staged a dharna on the
tarmac in protest.

Officials said as soon as the BJP leaders reached the
arrival hall of the Srinagar international airport this
afternoon, securitymen deployed there escorted them to the VIP
lounge and not allowed to enter the city.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir SM Sahai
said, "If they try to violate the prohibitory orders, law
will take its own course."

He said besides the city, Section 144 CrPC, which
prohibits Assembly of four or more persons at any public
place, has been imposed in Budgam district.

While nearly a dozen BJP workers from the Valley have
been taken into custody for violating prohibitory orders over
the past three days, separatists like JKLF chairman Mohammad
Yasin Malik, moderate Hurriyat Conference leaders Bilal Gani
Lone, Shahidul Islam and Khalil Ahmad Khalil have gone
underground as they apprehended arrest.

Malik has called for `Lal Chowk Chalo` march on
Republic Day to counter the BJP`s `Tiranga Yatra`.

Also, over 400 BJP activists were arrested
today when they tried to bring out a rally in Jammu as part
of their plan to hoist the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar
on Republic Day tomorrow.

PTI