There was pandemonium outside the Etah jail on Wednesday with activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) clamouring for the release of Varun Gandhi, who reached in Etah and sent a message saying he wanted to meet only his mother.
Varun Gandhi, the BJP candidate in Pilibhit who was jailed for his communal campaign speeches, was moved to Etah, 300 km away, in the early hours of Wednesday.
"Shouting slogans in favour of Varun, BJP and VHP workers demonstrated outside the Etah jail, demanding immediate release of their candidate who has been booked under NSA (National Security Act)," said police inspector Nawaab Singh.
They quietened down only after the BJP leader conveyed to them that he wanted to take rest and only wished to meet his mother Maneka Gandhi.
"Varun wrote on a piece of paper that he only wants to meet his mother presently and urged that the message should be read before the agitators in order to pacify them," said Nawaab Singh.
Addressing reporters just before going in to meet her son, Maneka Gandhi said: "It is a political conspiracy against my son." She added that it was illegal to transfer Varun Gandhi from one jail to other.
Varun Gandhi had been shifted to Etah at around 1.30 am "for security reasons", said Mukesh Arora, jailor of the Piliphit district jail.
The decision came just a few hours before the shutdown called by the VHP in the entire Bareilly region to protest his detention under NSA, which had been invoked by the Mayawati government on Sunday.
"In view of the VHP strike, we decided to move Varun for law and order reasons," Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brijlal told reporters in Lucknow.