BJP, Congress activists detained in Chandigarh

March 12th, 2011 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, March 12 (IANS) Hundreds of workers and leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were detained by the Chandigarh Police Saturday as both parties took out rallies against each other.

While BJP leaders claimed that nearly 850 of their cadres were detained and taken to various police stations, the Congress claimed that over 675 of its workers and leaders were detained.

The workers were detained for violating prohibitory orders, imposed under Section 144 (which prohibits the assembly of five or more people at one place), in the entire city by the administration here Friday.

BJP’s national secretary Kirit Somaiya, former Chandigarh MP Satya Pal Jain and Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon were among those detained by the police. All workers were released by the police later in the evening.

The BJP had announced its plan earlier to ‘gherao’ (encircle) the residence of union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in Sector 28.

The protest was against a report submitted to the Chandigarh Administration by a senior bureaucrat, who probed the allotment of booths in the Sector 41 market, and named several Congress leaders for being involved in getting them allotted illegally to ineligible allottees.

Though the BJP workers could not reach anywhere close to Bansal’s house due to heavy police deployment, BJP leader Ranjana Shahi claimed that she managed to reach the union minister’s residence and protested there alone.

Shahi, who reached up to the lane in which Bansal’s house is located, was prevented by the police from going any further.

The police cane charged Congress workers near the Congress Bhawan in Sector 35.

The Congress had announced, as a countermeasure to the BJP’s gherao call of Bansal’s house, that it will gherao the BJP office in Sector 37 here.

However, the police did not allow Congress workers to reach the BJP office.

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