Black flags greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his cavalcade passed by the Amritsar Central Jail on the Airport Road, while protests marked his visit to the city on Monday. Led by Congress leader Lalli Majithia and District Congress Committee (rural) president Gurjeet Singh Aujla, Congress workers in the city flashed black flags at the PM and also raised slogans against the land acquisition bill.
Later, charging the union government with pushing a 'draconian' law, Congress workers led by Aujla held a protest in this regard at the Rialto Chowk.
The police arrested the leaders and workers of the DCC (urban) and let them off a couple of hours later.
Leaders of the DCC (rural), including Aujla and Majithia, and at least 49 others were still under arrest at Chheharta Police Station till the filing of this report.
"The protest was held to oppose the land acquisition bill that would devastate a state like Punjab, which was mainly an agrarian province," said Aujla.
Congress leaders alleged that they were manhandled.
"We do not know what charges will be pressed against us, but as of now we are in police custody," said Aujla, while he was being taken away.
DCC (urban) president said he and some colleagues were exiting the Congress office at the Hall Bazaar, when they were arrested and asked to sit in a police vehicle.
"This was done in the name of the security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Amritsar today," he said.
Bhagat alleged that they were taken around the city for almost two hours and were then let off.
"This is just one of the excesses of the local police against Congress workers," he said.
He added that at a time when the entire police force had been pressed for the security of Modi, the common folks, who accosted various police stations with complaints of crimes committed against them were sent away on the grounds that the PM was in the city. When contacted, Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said Congress leaders and workers were arrested for holding protests during the PM's visit.