Maneka criticises Mayawati for Varun’s detention (Lead)

April 1st, 2009 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Etah (Uttar Pradesh), April 1 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Maneka Gandhi Wednesday criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for slapping the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against her son and party candidate Varun Gandhi, and said she would hold her and the Congress responsible if he was harmed.
“This is a trap. When he has not done anything, to detain him just for the communal vote is wrong. If he is harmed, then Mayawati and the Congress will have to answer to the nation. He is not only my son but everyone’s son,” the former central minister told reporters here.

The Uttar Pradesh police arrested Varun Gandhi Saturday and booked him under the NSA the next day for “inciting violence” prior to his arrest for allegedly communal speeches.

Varun Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Pilibhit, was shifted from a jail there to Etah, 300 km away, in the early hours of Wednesday.

There was pandemonium outside the Etah jail with activists of the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) clamouring for his release.

“Shouting slogans in favour of Varun, BJP and VHP workers demonstrated outside the Etah jail, demanding immediate release of their candidate, who has been booked under NSA (National Security Act),” said police inspector Nawaab Singh.

They quietened down only after the BJP leader conveyed to them that he wanted to take rest and only wished to meet his mother.

“Varun wrote on a piece of paper that he only wants to meet his mother presently, and urged that the message should be read before the agitators in order to pacify them,” said Nawaab Singh.

Earlier, Maneka Gandhi, who has represented Pilibhit in the Lok Sabha five times, said it was illegal to transfer Varun Gandhi from one jail to another.

Varun Gandhi was shifted to Etah around 1.30 a.m. “for security reasons”, said Mukesh Arora, jailor of the Piliphit district jail.

The decision came a few hours before a shutdown called by the VHP in the Bareilly region to protest Varun’s detention under NSA.

“In view of the VHP strike, we decided to move Varun for law and order reasons,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal told reporters in Lucknow.

–Indo-asian News Service


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