Three BJP leaders arrested, Omar reviews situation

Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were detained by police in Jammu and were taken to Madhopur in Punjab.

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011, 23:20 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau
Jammu/Pathankot: After six hours of high voltage drama at Jammu Airport, three senior BJP leaders - Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were detained by police in Jammu Monday night and were taken to Madhopur in Punjab on the border with Jammu and Kashmir, BJP sources said.

The three leaders were taken into custody at Jammu airport where they were kept locked to prevent them joining the party`s Ekta Yatra to hoist the national flag in Srinagar on Jan 26, which the state government has disallowed.

They are to reach Madhopur Bridge, near Lakhanpur Barrier, at around 10.30 p.m, party sources said.

Madhopur is 15 km from Pathankot.

BJP MP Navjyot Singh Sidhu has left for Madhopur to join the senior leaders when they arrive there, a party official said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was chairing a high level meeting of the security forces to deal with the situation. There are reports of many BJP leaders and workers having sneaked into Jammu and were planning to hold protests at several places.

In a bid to placate the situation, Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to BJP leader Arun Jaitley and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah over phone.

The Chief Minister told the Home Minister that the two
top BJP leaders would not be allowed to attend a public rally
in Jammu as part of the BJP`s controversial `Ekta Yatra`.

Following Chidambaram`s request, Omar agreed to send
state Chief Secretary S S Kapoor and DGP Kuldip Khoda to talk
to Jaitley and Swaraj and persuade them to abandon their plan.

In his conversation with Jaitley, Chidambaram requested
him to respect the wishes of the Chief Minister and return to
Delhi to defuse tension in the state, they said.

Efforts are also being made to allow Jaitley and Swaraj
to speak to a small group of people and a few journalists
before their return to the national capital, the sources said.

With IANS inputs