Yatra: BJP leaders detained at Jammu airport
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Last Updated: Monday, January 24, 2011, 17:45
  
Jammu: BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar were stopped at Jammu airport and asked to go back as they arrived here on Monday to "take command" of the party programme for hoisting the tricolour in Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day.

The leaders, who came on a chartered flight from New Delhi this afternoon, were not allowed to move out as the authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPc after over 1000 BJP workers assembled outside the airport to welcome them.

Protesting against the state government's actions, the BJP leaders sat on a dharna inside the airport while outside, party activists raised slogans against Omar Abdullah government and blocked the road next to the building.

Slamming the state government, Kumar claimed that as soon as they landed the District Magistrate asked them to go back but they refused.

"It is a draconian situation here. They have almost formed an Emergency-like situation. We will not accept this order as we are free citizens of India and entitled to land in Jammu," Kumar said, adding the three of them were sitting on a dharna on the tarmac.

The BJP leaders were dispatched by the party a day after several workers of BJP's youth wing (BJYM) were prevented from entering Jammu and Kashmir.

"This is an outrageous act by the Omar Abdullah government which has detained our leaders at the airport. This is a picture akin to the Emergency days," state BJP spokesman Jitender Singh told reporters here.

"They (authorities) are furthering the agenda of the separatists and undermining the nationalist element," he said.

He alleged that 23 BJP activists have been arrested and administration and police were harassing the pilgrims who were going to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at a railway station after labelling them as BJP workers.

The Opposition party has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Omar Abdullah government of "surrendering" to separatists and showing "disproportionate and panic reaction".

The Prime Minister recently asked parties to desist from scoring political points or promoting divisive agendas and exercise maximum restraint to ensure that peace is not disturbed in a "sensitive" state like J&K, a remark criticised by the BJP.

PTI


First Published: Monday, January 24, 2011, 17:45


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