Fresh crackdown on BJP leaders ahead of flag hoisting

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Srinagar, Jan 25 (PTI) In a fresh crackdown on BJPactivists, four senior party leaders were today detained atthe airport here immediately after their arrival forparticipating in hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk onRepublic Day tomorrow.

Three BJP MLAs � Jugal Kishore, Gharu Ram and ShamChaudhry and a party leader from Udhampur Pawan Khajuria -were not allowed to leave the airport for taking part in theflag hoisting plan, officials said.

Their detention came a day after senior BJP leadersSushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar were stopped atJammu airport ahead of the party''s march to Srinagar and werelater taken out of the state to Punjab by road.

The three leaders were not allowed to leave theairport for over five hours and they staged a dharna on thetarmac in protest.

Officials said as soon as the BJP leaders reached thearrival hall of the Srinagar international airport thisafternoon, securitymen deployed there escorted them to the VIPlounge and not allowed to enter the city.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir S M Sahaitold PTI, "If they try to violate the prohibitory orders, lawwill take its own course."

He said besides the city, Section 144 CrPC, whichprohibits assembly of four or more persons at any publicplace, has been imposed in Budgam district.

While nearly a dozen BJP workers from the Valley havebeen taken into custody for violating prohibitory orders overthe past three days, separatists like JKLF chairman MohammadYasin Malik, moderate Hurriyat Conference leaders Bilal GaniLone, Shahidul Islam and Khalil Ahmad Khalil have goneunderground as they apprehended arrest.

Malik has called for ''Lal Chowk Chalo'' march onRepublic Day to counter the BJP''s ''Tiranga Yatra''.

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