Kashmir seals border with Punjab to thwart BJP march

January 22nd, 2011 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Jammu, Jan 22 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Police are engaged in sealing the state’s border with Punjab at Lakhanpur to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tiranga Yatra from entering the state. The BJP plans to hoist the Indian tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on the Republic Day. The state government said Thursday that it will not allow any “programme which has the potential of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the state”.

Police contingents have been dispatched to Lakhanpur, the gateway of Jammu and Kashmir, 90 km south of Jammu. The personnel will be deployed on a bridge linking Madhopur in Punjab with Lakahanpur of Jammu and Kashmir, a source said.

The BJP’s activists who have joined the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, or national unity march, that started off from Kolkata Jan 12, are slated to enter the state Monday.

The policemen have been ordered not to allow any vehicle or marcher of the BJP into the state. “If need be, there would be use of force,” a senior police official told IANS.

He, however, did not give any details of the level of force that may be used against the marchers. The police columns have been given hundreds of teargas shells. There might be a bigger and more lethal use of force against the marchers, the source said.

Police deployment is being done as despite Jammu and Kashmir “banning” the BJP’s yatra, the party activists were moving towards the state. The BJP has declared that it would not budge from its plans of hoisting the flag in Lal Chowk, Srinagar’s hitoric city centre.

“We want to know what is wrong with the hoisting of flag,” Munish Sharma, state unit president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth ing of the bJP, said to reporters. “This is our right as Indians, which we are going to exercise and no one can stop us from doing so,” he asserted Saturday.

Separatists have also given a call for a counter-march to Lal Chowk in Srinagar Jan 26 and have planned to hoist black flags and to stage street protests.

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