Govt Foils BJYM Sgr Show22 January 2011
Srinagar: In the first sign of showdown, police Saturday launched a crackdown on rightwing BJP activists in city centre and arrested six party activists. The crackdown prompted BJP’s state vice president to flee to the winter capital. Police sources said the arrests took place on directions of Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, who has asked his men to deal sternly with people attempting to disturb peace in the Valley. “Six workers of BJP were arrested when they were pasting party posters in Lal Chowk. They violated the prohibitory orders already in place. Many posters were seized from them,” a police spokesman said. Police also raided BJP office at Rajbagh. However, no arrests were made. A senior police official, wishing not to be named, said heads of all police stations across Srinagar have been directed to keep an eye on BJP workers in their respective areas. “The crackdown on BJP workers will continue as nobody will be allowed to disrupt the peace in the Valley. We are working round the clock to ensure peaceful conduct of all January 26 functions across Kashmir,” he said. After the police crackdown, BJP’s Kashmir-wing cancelled its scheduled press conference at a local hotel in Lal Chowk in the afternoon. State vice-president BJP, Sofi Yousuf, who fled to Jammu after the police raids, told Rising Kashmir over phone that the press meet in Srinagar was cancelled as police had sealed the hotel. “A police party also raided our Rajbagh office,” he said. He said the flag hoisting preparations were in full-swing and the arrest of six BJP workers won’t affect the morale of 10,000 Kashmir-based BJP workers. “The government is deliberately making our flag-hoisting plans a political issue. The move is purely aimed at showing to the world that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” he said. Asked why he fled to Jammu when BJP workers needed him in the Valley, Yousuf said, “I did not leave Kashmir to evade arrest but to finalise flag-hoisting plans in Jammu. I am not worried about arrest. Even if 5000 workers would be arrested, the rest would march toward Lal Chowk and make the flag-hoisting plan a success”. He said the BJYM’s Ekta Rally would reach Jammu on January 25. “A big rally will be held in Jammu after which all BJP and BJYM leaders will march toward Srinagar,” he said. Sources said dozens of BJP workers and middle-rung leaders have been hiding in Jammu to evade arrest. The government has already said it won’t allow BJYM and JKLF from hoisting their respective party flags atop Clock Tower at city centre on January 26. “The government is mulling to impose stringent restrictions across Srinagar especially in Lal Chowk and Masiuma areas, a day before January 26,” sources said.