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Three BJP leaders arrested in Jammu, sent to Punjab

Monday January 24, 2011 10:06:02 PM, IANS

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Jammu: After a nearly six-hour high drama at Jammu airport, police Monday night took top BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar into custody after they refused to return to Delhi and insisted on taking part in the flag-hoisting in Srinagar on Jan 26.

The state government has refused sanction for the Bharatiya Janata Party youth wing's Ekta Yatra.

The orders for their arrest were issued by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, according to sources. The BJP leaders, sources said, were being taken to Pathankot, in Punjab on the border with Jammu and Kashmir.

The chief minister took the step after union Home Minister P. Chidambaram intervened and opened a way out for the state government.

Their arrest capped a day of high tension in Jammu.

Earlier, the BJP leaders were prevented from leaving the airport and they squatted on the tarmac.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and union Home Minister P.Chidambaram appealed to them to desist from their plan and return to Delhi to prevent the fragile peace in the valley from collapsing.

Meanwhile, the authorities have imposed strict prohibitory orders to stall the entry of the Ekta Yatra into Jammu and Kashmir.

The prohibitory orders were issued under section 144 Cr. P C, which bars the assembly of four or more people at a public place, late Monday evening, according to Zahida Khan, Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, the district whose jurisdiction runs up to Lakhanpur, the gateway of Jammu and Kashmir and many other areas which border Punjab.

Huge columns of police, Central Reserve Police Force have been deployed to prevent the yatra. More barricades are being erected from Jammu to Lakhanpur - a distance of 90 km to stop the BJP activists staging any protests or marching toward Jammu.

 

 

 

 

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