M A I N   N E W S

Swaraj, Jaitley, Ananth Kumar arrested at Jammu airport
Later, deported to Punjab; BJP supporters protest
Dinesh Manhotra/TNS

Jammu, January 24
High drama prevailed at Jammu airport today when senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were first detained and then arrested after their arrival from Delhi, triggering vehement protests. The leaders, who were here to bolster the BJP’s ambitious ‘Ekta Yatra’, were later deported to Madhopur in neighbouring Punjab.

The three leaders - who arrived in a chartered flight to throw their weight behind the party’s move to hoist the Tricolour at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day - were stopped at the airport after they refused to obey orders of the District Magistrate, asking them to go back.

As soon as the flight carrying Swaraj, Jaitley and Kumar arrived at the Jammu airport at 3.18 pm, the additional Deputy Commissioner rushed towards it and tried to stop the leaders from coming out of the plane by showing them the administrative order (Section 144).

Eyewitnesses said that after some argument, the trio came out of the plane but authorities immediately locked the entrance door of the airport. Stunned, the three BJP leaders sat on a dharna.

When BJP workers, who had assembled outside the airport to welcome their leaders, came to know about the incident, they started shouting slogans against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for adopting oppressive measures.

Soon, senior police and administrative officers rushed to the spot to pacify BJP leaders and their supporters. The leaders were allowed to enter the airport at 4.45 pm and were taken to a VIP room where senior officers again tried to convince them to go back. At around 9 pm, the leaders were formally arrested by the state government and then deported to Madhopur in neighbouring Punjab.

Meanwhile, more BJP workers assembled at the airport and protested against the government for arresting their leaders. "It's an outrageous act by the Omar Abdullah government. This is a picture akin to the Emergency days," chief spokesman of state BJP Jitender Singh told reporters. He alleged that the government was furthering the agenda of the separatists and undermining the nationalist element.

High Drama

The BJP top brass had come to throw its weight behind the party’s move to hoist the Tricolour at the Lal Chowk on Republic Day

As soon as the trio’s flight landed, the ADC tried to stop the leaders from coming out of the plane

But they refused and were detained. Later, the three leaders were arrested and deported to Madhopur in Punjab.

BJP workers outside the airport raised slogans against CM Omar Abdullah after which they were taken into custody 





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