May move court on government foiling flag march: BJP

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW DELHI - Slamming the Jammu and Kashmir and central governments for preventing Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from hoisting the national flag in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, the party Wednesday said it may move court against the “unconstitutional” and “criminal” steps taken by the state administration.

As senior party leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj returned to New Delhi after their arrest in Jammu, party veteran L.K. Advani said that what happened in Jammu during the course of the march was totally indefensible.

It is illegal and criminal. I think we should knock at the doors of the courts…,” he said at a felicitation function for Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) members and party leaders associated with the Ekta Yatra or unity march that aimed at hoisting the national flag in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on the Republic Day.

Advani also questioned the manner in which the Jaitley, Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were forced to leave Jammu.

“Under no law people can be deported under prohibitory orders,” he said at the party office here.

Referring to his conversation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue,the BJP leader said: “How can this happen, I told the prime minister.”

Advani said the manner in which special trains carrying BJP workers to Jammu were either cancelled or diverted had not happened even during the Emergency.

Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the aborted flag-hoisting march to Srinagar has re-started a debate on the policy concerning Kashmir.

He said no chief minister had opposed the party’s Ekta Yatra or unity march as it passed through their states, except Omar Abdullah.

Jaitley said that the march by the BJYM was totally peaceful and added that party activists, who had raised the national flag in Srinagar, were beaten up by the police.

“Is it a crime to hold national flag? A debate has re-started about the government’s policy towards Kashmir. Nobody can stop this debate. The BJP is ready to accept the challenge of this debate,” Jaitley said.

BJYM president Anurag Thakur said the march, which started from Kolkota Jan 12, had attained its objectives.

“The yatra (march) gave the message of national unity,” he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir government did not give permission for the BJP march as it believed it could reignite tension in the state where calm has prevailed after months of unrest and deadly street protests last summer.

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