Tricolour row: BJP activists attack J-K Finance Minister's car

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Jammu, Jan 26 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, who had undertaken a rally to hoist the national flag at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day attacked the car of Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather here on Wednesday evening.

The incident took place when the Finance Minister's car was passing by the BJP office in the city, where the party activists had gathered for a press conference to be addressed by senior party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley

The irate activists smashed the windows of the car and scuffled with the police personnel who were trying to make way for the vehicle. The clash lasted for a few minutes, but Rather drove away unhurt.

This act has been viewed as an act of venting out their ire after these activists were barred from proceeding beyond Jammu.

Earlier today, BJP veterans Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar, who were arrested yesterday as they crossed into Jammu to carry on with the party's plans of hoisting the tricolour at Srinagar's Lal Chowk were released in Kathua on Wednesday.

The trio then met the several BJP workers and unfurled the national flag in Kathua.

The BJP veterans then headed to the party office in Jammu promising to continue their protests against the government's policies in the state.

The BJP today turned down Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's invitation to attend the Republic Day celebrations.

"It is a lip service by him (Omar). We do not give credence to it and turn it down," said Anurag Thakur.

"Omar first arrested leaders of the nationalist party and then did not allow the hoisting of national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar as if it is not a part of the country. Then he invites us as a state guest for the tricolour hoisting on the Republic Day in the state," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, scores of 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.

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.

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, which was scheduled to reach Srinagar today.

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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