Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who planned to lead a ‘silent’ march to the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in the city on Saturday, claimed he had been placed under “house arrest” --- a charge denied by police.
Mumbai Police said the personnel deployed outside Nirupam’s residence were only part of the security arrangements made across the city in view of the PM’s visit for launching some major projects.
“The area outside my house is under heavy police bandobast (arrangements) and I am being prevented from stepping out,” Nirupam told PTI.
“In the present democratic set up Opposition leaders are being virtually kept under house-arrest,” he alleged.
Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said, “We have deployed policemen across the city especially on the route of PM’s convoy to maintain law and order as well as to avoid any untoward incident during his visit.”
Nirupam said the march was planned as a peaceful march to highlight some important issues.
“We have a lot of questions for the PM. He should answer graft allegations made by our vice-president Rahul Gandhi instead of mocking him.
“Modi should also answer when the people will get back their right to deposit and withdraw their own hard earned money from banks. It is more than a month. Since demonetisation, citizens are still suffering due to cash crunch,” he said.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Mohan Prakash, accused the police in the BJP-ruled state of curbing the democratic rights of political rivals, which he alleged was being done at the behest of the government.
“Earlier, the government put restrictions on citizens’ rights to access their money and now there are restrictions on freedom of expression as well,” he said.
Condemning the “house arrest” of Nirupam, MPCC spokersperson Sachin Sawant said, “It is indeed, a black day for Indian democracy. This act confirms the fact that the BJP government has a sadist and fascist mindset, which denies the citizen’s basic fundamental constitutional right to protest peacefully.”