BJP yatra stopped at JK border, Swaraj, Jaitley arrested

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Kumar Abhishek

Lakhanpur (J&K ), Jan 25 (PTI) Amid high drama, BJP''sflag yatra was stopped at the Lakhampur border of Jammu andKashmir with its three senior leaders being arrested even asthey lashed out at the state government and the Centre forcommitting a "historic mistake".

A day after being thrown out of the Jammu and Kashmir,senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumartried to re-enter the state along with the Ekta Yatra beingled by the party''s youth wing president Anurag Thakur but itwas foiled by police which had put a barricade.

"What can be more unfortunate that those who burn thenational flag are being provided security while those holdingthe national flag are being stopped," said Swaraj as she wasbeing arrested along with Jaitley, Kumar and Thakur on entryinto Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab.

They were arrested for violating Section 144 whichprohibits assembly of more than four persons at any particularplace.

"What is our crime? Why are we being arrested? We havebeen marching peacefully," Swaraj said while addressingthousands of party supporters carrying the national flag.

Earlier, Swaraj and Jaitley addressed a public meeting atMadhopur on Punjab border and vowed to go ahead with the plansto to unfurl the national tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.

"Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has saidif you visit the state, the separatists will be provoked. Thisshows the psychological surrender (by the state government)before the separatists...it is a historic mistake," Jaitley,Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said.

Later, a group of activists were seen crossing the bridgeon the river Ravi on the Punjab-J&K border where they werestopped by security forces.

The BJYM activists continued to shout slogans demandingthat they be allowed to proceed to Srinagar to hoist thetricolour at Lal Chowk.

Jaitley said when a "group of separatists" gathered inNew Delhi and made anti-India speeches, the government did nottake action contending that freedom of speech was their right.

"But when we took he tricolour to unfurl it at Lal Chowk,they dub it as a crime," he said. .

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