MDMK general secretary Vaiko and 750 supporters, who were protesting the arrival of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Madhya Pradesh for laying the foundation stone of Buddhist University at Sanchi, were arrested at Pandhurna in Chhindwara, 273 km south-east of Bhopal on Friday.
Vaiko and his supporters were sitting on a 'dharna' after arriving in Madhya Pradesh by buses from Tamil Nadu. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jabalpur range V Madhukumar said that the MDMK workers were told that they couldn’t be allowed to cross the barricades and move further, but on Friday they tried to proceed towards Bhopal, crossing the barriers, and were hence arrested.
“They have been arrested under section 151. It was peaceful”, he said. Vaiko and his supporters were being taken to an undisclosed location and were likely to be put at a temporary jail.
Police officials said that once the university programme gets over, the MDMK leader could be released on bail, depending on the situation then.
Meanwhile, hundreds of MDMK workers who were reaching Bhopal by trains and air, and attempting to reach Sanchi, were intercepted at different towns like Ganj Basoda, Salamatpur and Vidisha near Sanchi.
In Bhopal, nearly 200 MDMK workers, many of them raising photographs of slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, were detained in a 'dharmashala'.
Raising slogans like 'Rajapaksa go back', they said that the foundation of a university that is being established in the name of Lord Buddha, shouldn’t be laid at the hands of Sri Lankan president, whose government is accused of large scale killings of Tamils.