Train Carrying Karnataka BJP Workers Stopped23 January 2011
Times of India
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party picked up a scrap everywhere, from Himachal Pradesh to Bangalore, on Sunday. While the Jammu and Kashmir government sealed its borders with Himachal and Punjab to prevent roughly 15,000 BJP youth wing workers from entering the state, central security forces dramatically stopped a train with 1,900 Karnataka BJP activists in Maharashtra and sent them back to Karnataka. The special train carrying BJP workers from Bangalore was stopped around 1am at Sarola, in Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra, with a team of police and railway security force detaching the train's engine under the cover of darkness. They then bound the engine to the rear of the train. Soon, two more bogies with around 150 Railway Protection Force personnel were attached. The train then restarted its journey around 2am - but in the reverse direction, returning to Karnataka. The turnaround happened while BJP workers slept. A railway official said the drastic step was taken to avoid any trouble in Maharashtra. The special train, which left on Friday morning from Bangalore, headed back to Gulbarga following high drama. The train is expected to reach Bangalore on Monday morning. The Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government have declared that no political worker from any state will be allowed to attend the BJP's Tiranga Yatra on January 26. Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa slammed the move by the security forces to prevent BJP workers going to Jammu. 'Nobody will tolerate this. We will discuss this with the party central leaders to take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and protest,' the CM said before leaving for New Delhi. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters in Bangalore that the party would fight UPA government's dictatorial designs. 'Whatever Congress is doing is undemocratic. Our workers have valid tickets and can't be sent back to Bangalore. No matter what the Congress does, our workers will go to J&K and hoist the national flag,' he added. In Shimla, Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha national president Anurag Thakur, who is leading the Tiranga yatra, said his party was committed to reach Srinagar and unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk. 'Is it not strange that we Indians are being stopped from unfurling the national flag within the country? What message is the J&K government and the Centre sending?' he said. Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal - he is also the father of Anurag Thakur - said the youth from Himachal had made supreme sacrifices for the country with as many as 52 young men martyred during Operation Vijay to reclaim Kargil. 'Their sacrifice in throwing out the infiltrators will not go in vain. It's unfortunate that the J&K government, which is a partner of the UPA at the Centre, is against unfurling the national flag,' Dhumal said.