250 BJP youth wing activists held to prevent Tiranga rally in volatile Srinagar
Over 250 members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), youth wing of the ruling BJP, were arrested before they could take out a Tiranga (Tricolour) rally through restive Srinagar to mark Independence Day on Tuesday.
BJYM national vice-president Ajaz Hussain and senior BJP leader Ashish Sareen were among those taken from Hotel Shahenshah Palace, where they were staying, to the Ram Munshibagh police station.
Police officers took the step to prevent a likely confrontation of the youth activists with local residents in a city that has seen large-scale violence since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last year.
However, former chief minister Omar Abdullah was not impressed. “True definition of a fixed match. BJP Govt in J&K detains BJP office-bearers going out to hoist the National Flag,” the National Conference leader tweeted.
Three militants, including Burhan Wani’s successor Yasin Itoo, were killed in an overnight gunfight that left two soldiers dead in south Kashmir’s Shopian district a few days ago. Indian security agencies described the development as a blow to the militant group’s operations in the state.
Separatist leaders, including hardline Hurriyat faction chief Syed Ali Geelani, had extended greetings to the Pakistan government on the neighbouring country’s Independence Day — celebrated on August 14. “After Allah Almighty, Pakistan is the only visible support to the people of Kashmir,” Geelani had said.