500 BJP activists detained in Uttar Pradesh

August 12th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Lucknow, Aug 12 (IANS) As many as 500 activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were detained by the police here Tuesday when they took out a procession to protest the cancellation of the allotment of 40 hectares of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board in Jammu and Kashmir. “Most of the activists were arrested when they tried to scale the gates of the Raj Bhawan,” police officer A.K. Chauhan told IANS.

Protesters also tried to disrupt traffic at various places in the city during the course of the procession that started from the BJP office in Hazratganj and winded its way up to Raj Bhawan, he added.

The police fired in the air and resorted to cane charges to disperse the BJP activists.

“We had to use force to control the protesters. However, no activist was seriously injured during the incident,” said Chauhan.

BJP leaders have threatened to stage a series of protests in the state to press their demand for restoration of the land earlier allotted to the Shrine board.

“Our party will continue to protest till the land is re-allotted to the shrine board,” senior BJP leader Om Prakash Singh told IANS.

The annual Hindu pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre altitude cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir has been at the heart of the land row, which created an unprecedented communal wedge between the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and Hindu-dominated Jammu plains.

The more than five-week violent campaign over the plot that was marked for the Amarnath shrine board has claimed at least 15 lives in Jammu and Kashmir. Following protests in the Kashmir valley, the land allotment was cancelled July 1, sparking violent reactions in Jammu.

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