The Uttar Pradesh police on Sunday arrested Union minister of state for telecommunications and information and technology Sachin Pilot from Lal Kuan on National Highway 24 as he tried to gain entry into Bhatta-Parsaul villages. He was later released around 4.15pm.
After meeting prisoners at the Dasna prison in Ghaziabad, the cavalcade of the minister proceeded towards Bhatta-Parsaul villages but he was detained and later arrested under Section 151 (breach of peace )of the CrPC.
Pilot sat on a ‘dharna’ on the road leading to the Gautam Budh Nagar district and sought justification for the 'police action'. “We were heading to listen to the woes of the families affected and to offer condolences. There were no meetings scheduled at Bhatta-Parsaul. But the officials and administration barred us from entering the Gautam Budh Nagar while the ruling government's (Bahujan Samaj Party) leaders are allowed to move freely,” Pilot said.
After his release, Pilot said the Central government was against the forceful land acquisition directed against small and marginal farmers.
A senior administration official, requesting anonymity, told Hindustan Times that Pilot was barred entry because Section 144 was already imposed in Ghaziabad till June 15 and Pilot's presence could make situation more volatile.
Earlier, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also arrested in a similar fashion by the UP police on May 11 when he slipped unnoticed into the affected villages in support of the agitating farmers.