Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press
New Delhi: The BJP plans to hoist the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, and the government is doing all it can to maintain peace in the city. At Lal Chowk, security has been stepped up after BJP workers tried to put up posters on Saturday night. Police arrested six BJP activists and a crackdown has also been launched against the separatists for their proposed counter march to Lal Chowk.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too stepped into the raging controversy. In a hard-hitting statement on Saturday, the PM said, “The Republic Day is not an occasion to score political points or promote divisive agendas. I call upon all concerned to observe maximum restraint in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir.”
But the BJP reacted sharply to the Prime Minister’s statement, saying it will encourage separatist forces in the state.
Just 48 hours before the BJP’s controversial tiranga yatra is slated to enter Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has broken his silence.
He has called upon all concerned to observe maximum restraint in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir.
Manmohan Singh says the Republic Day is not an occasion to score political points or promote divisive agendas.
PM intervention comes after J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah after consultation with Union home ministry decided that the BJP will not be allowed to go ahead with its proposed flag hoisting programme at Lal chowk on Republic day.
BJP youth wing president who is leading the yatra is to enter the state on the January 24 at Lakhanpur at the J&K border.
Meanwhile BJP is in a fix at a time when it has the government on the mat on the issues like corruption and price rise, there is a view emerging that escalation of tension due to yatra can digress parties campaign against UPA though for on record party seems firming backing the yatra.
With BJP adamant on hoisting the national flag at Lal Chowk on January 26, it remains to be seemed how Omar Abdullah handles the situation especially when the separatists are also adamant to foil the tiranga yatra at any cost.
The Congress and BJP continued to duel and posture. “It is a nationalistic movement to build the pride of the country. The way the state government has succumbed to the separatists’ pressure and has been trying to stop the yatra is sad but the BJP will not accept this,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Questioning the prime minister’s reservations on BJP’s plan to unfurl the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, party veteran LK Advani today said the “State is surrendering” to the separatists who have declared that they will not let the tricolour be hoisted.
“If the rationale for the prohibitory orders is apprehension of breach of peace, curbs should be targeted towards those who have declared that they will not let the tricolour be put up at the Lal Chowk.
“And certainly not against those who have been repeatedly asserting that they will peacefully, and respectfully, unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk,” Advani wrote in his latest blog posting titled ‘Let not the State surrender to separatists’.
Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on the issue yesterday, Advani voiced hope that he would realise that BJP Yuva Morcha activists were “not trying to score a political point” but were instead challenging the separatists.
“And the State is surrendering to them,” he said.
In Srinagar, police on Sunday said that it arrested the provincial president of BJP Sofi Mohammad Yusuf.
“Yusuf was arrested during a nocturnal raid from uptown here,” a police officer told Agence India Press.
He said that police have been asked to ensure that BJP activists are kept at bay so that peace in the Kashmir is not disturbed.
Frisking, checking and surveillance through CCTV cameras – police are not leaving anything to chance. While a major crackdown is being launched against separatists, the arrest of BJP workers with posters is a clear indication that the government is firm not to allow BJP to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk.
Meanwhile, BJP workers from Karnataka, who were heading towards Jammu last night for the January 26 Tiranga march, were in for a big surprise. Karnataka Express going from Bangalore to Delhi with 18 bogies filled with K’taka BJP youth wing workers, was stopped on Sunday (January 23) at Ahmednagar’s Sarola station.
The train was halted at 1.30 am in Ahmednagar and then was redirected back to Bangalore. The police, CRPF men and the rail police created a black out and removed the front engine, placing it at the back. They also attached 2 more bogies, filled with over 1500 police men at 1.30 am.
All this happened while the BJP workers were asleep. It took a while for the BJP workers to realise they were being diverted back, prompting them to stop the train at Nagansur, which is on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border.
The central government and Jammu and Kashmir government have declared that no workers from any other state will be allowed to attend the 26th Jan Tiranga Yatra. (AIP)
Copyright © 2011 AIPTV. All rights reserved. http://agenceindiapress.com