BJP Yatra crosses over to J-K, top leaders taken into custody

Lakhanpur/Punjab, Jan 25 (ANI): In keeping with the law and order situation, scores of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists including party veterans Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and Anurag Thakur were taken into custody under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) while marching towards Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab to carry on with the plans of hoisting the national flag at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day.

The situation is reported to be tense as the marchers who had assembled at the Punjab side of the Lakhanpur Bridge started to march towards the other side of the bridge, which lies in Jammu and Kashmir.

The marchers carrying the national flag in their hands and shouting slogans 'Bharat Mata ki jai' breached the barriers put up by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Earlier today, the police stepped up security in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua region today after Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code was imposed to prevent BJP from hoisting the Tricolour at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day.

High deployment of the security forces and police has been made at Lakhanpur, which has also been converted into a makeshift Police Headquarter.

The State government has also deployed forces on the Punjab border at Lakhanpur.

Former BJP President Rajnath Singh is presently on a hunger strike to protest against the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir Government's decision to prevent the party from hoisting the Tricolour at Srinagar's Lal Chowk.

On Monday, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were not allowed to leave the Jammu airport.

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha national president Anurag Thakur is leading the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra - flagged off on January 12 at Kolkata and scheduled to reach Srinagar on January 26.

The Yatra was expected to cover 3,037 km and enter the State on the afternoon of January 24 at Pathankot. (ANI)

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