J&K Govt preparing to stop BJP rally from entering state

via IANS | Jammu published on January 19, 2011

Jammu and Kashmir has made all preparations to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party activists from entering the state, highly placed official sources said here.

The marchers, who started from Kolkata Jan 12 for Srinagar to hoist the national tricolor in the city’s Lal Chowk Jan 26, will be stopped at Lakhanpur, the entry point of the state, about 90 km from Jammu.

Police have been asked to deploy personnel in strength and erect barricades to stop the marchers from entering the state.

“It is being done because the BJP’s plan is likely to trigger major law and order crisis in the state, particularly in the valley, where the situation is yet to stablise fully after last summer’s unrest,” a senior official told IANS.

The BJP leadership, however, is determined to defy any restrictions on the march. “Stopping of our yatra (march) would mean an anti-national act and we will resist it all the way,” state unit BJP president Shamsher Singh Manhas told IANS.

The situation arose after the militant outfits in the Kashmir Valley vowed to stall the march.

The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has announced he would lead a counter-march to the historic Lal Chowk, Srinagar’s city centre, Jan 26 while hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani has given a call for hoisting black flags and staging protest demonstrations on the same day.

“Separatists too would be dealt with a heavy hand,” the official said.

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