Police arrested BJP national general secretary Vinay Katiyar and his supporters on the Mau-Ghazipur border in Varanasi on Thursday. Following his arrest the three-day Parivartan Yatra of the BJP came to an end.
The Parivartan Yatra was stopped at Mardah, a few kilometers from the sensitive Mau. Police arrested all the leaders and the party activists, accompanying the yatra.
Talking to HT, Ghazipur SP LV Deo Kumar said, "We have arrested Vinay Katyar and many others who participated in the yatra, and we will take them to police lines where a temporary jail has been set up."
On way to Gorakhpur, the Parivartan Yatra entered Ghazipur where Katiyar addressed several rallies. A strong contingent of police was accompanying the yarta from Ghazipur. Even the SP and the DM of Ghazipur and Mau waited near Mardah to stop the yatra.
Earlier, Mau SP Aushtosh Kumar said, "We have no orders to arrest Vinay Katyar but we are going to stop the yatra before it enters Mau." Suddenly, the Ghazipur police swung into action and arrested many BJP leaders, including Vinay Katyar.
Sources said when policemen tried to stop the yatra, there was an altercation between BJP workers and cops at Mardah.
Talking to HT, BJP spokesman Rakesh Trivedi said there was a BJP wave in Mirzapur, Sonebhadra, Varanasi, Chandauli and Ghazipur.
He claimed about 3,000 party workers and leaders were arrested. Katiyar was also taken to police lines.
Katiyar who launched the Parivartan Yatra from Vindhyachal in Mirzapur on Monday decided to lead the yatra towards Gorakhpur. Earlier, there was no plan to take the yatra there.
A report from Gorakhpur adds: Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and senior Congress leader Ram Naresh Yadav was arrested when he was trying to enter the Gorakhpur city. Later, Yadav was released.
Yadav with his supporters and the administration stopped him at Nausarh. Yadav told the administration that he would visit the curfew-bound localities to take stock of the situation and appeal to the people of both communities to maintain peace. However, the administration did not allow him to enter the city.