CPI men held for black flag demo against BJP "Rath Yatra"

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Virudhunagar, Mar 17 (UNI) Tension prevailed at Srivilliputhur near here today when a group of CPI workers attempted to stage a ''Black Flag'' demonstration against the ''Rath Yatra'' (Chariot Tour) undertaken by BJP Tamil Nadu unit Vice President Pon Radhakrishnan.

Mr Radhakrishnan, along with party leaders was on a day-long ''Rath Yatra'' in the district to mobilise people's support for the BJP's Prime Ministerial Candidate L K Advani, deliberate party's policies and to explain to the people about the Centre and the state governments' failure to check the price hike of essential commodities.

The CPI district unit announced that it would show black flags to Mr Radhakrishnan for his recent demand to arrest CPI state unit Secretary D Pandiyan under ''Goondas Act'' for advising the CPI men to carry weapons for self-defense.

As part of the CPI's protest programme, when the ''Rath Yatra'' commenced its journey from Srivilliputhur, the party workers led by party MLA T Ramasamy assembled in the area to show black flags.

Irate over this, the BJP partymen raised anti-CPI slogans, leading to tension.

However, a large number of police personnel rushed to the spot and arrested the CPI MLA and the partymen, including 14 women.

Later, Mr Radhakrishnan began his ''Rath Yatra'' amid tight police security.

UNI GSM VV SK KN1548

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