Taking objection to the arrest of party leaders who were protesting against the attacks on temples, BJP State president Somu Veerraju said on Thursday that it was an undemocratic action and wondered if undeclared emergency prevailed in the State.
Mr. Veerraju vowed to undertake the ‘Devalaya Parirakshana Yatra’ from February 4, for which police permission had been sought.
He sought to know why the government was depriving the BJP of its right to stage peaceful protests.
Addressing the media at his residence at Tadepalli, Mr. Veerraju said thousands of party cadres were arrested as they embarked on a visit to Ramatheertham temple in Vizianagaram district, where the idol of Lord Rama was desecrated. The police cracked down on the BJP and JSP activists at other places where temples were attacked and idols were desecrated in the recent past, he alleged.
The DGP purportedly made a statement that some BJP and TDP workers were involved in the attack on nine temples even before investigation was completed claiming to have prima facie evidence.
“Even worse, cases have been registered against party workers who posted messages in the social media about dilapidated temples as if they are the culprits who razed the structures,” he said.
Mr. Veerraju said the party would not keep quiet if temples continued to be attacked and forces inimical to the ‘Hindu dharma’ had a free run.
He condemned the taking into custody of MLC P.V.N. Madhav who tried to approach the top police officials at the DGP office and the house arrest of some other top leaders of the party a day after an application had been submitted in writing to Additional DGP Ravi Shankar Ayyanar seeking permission for the ‘Devalaya Parirakshana Yatra’.
MP C.M. Ramesh said his party would be forced to move a privilege motion in Parliament on the statements being made by the DGP.
BJP State general secretary S. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, Pathuri Nagabhushanam and others were present.
According to a press release, Mr. Veerraju was prevented from coming out of his house at Tadepalli and Mr. Ramesh was detained on his arrival at Vijayawada airport. Former State party president Kanna Lakshminarayana, Mr. Vishnuvardhan Reddy and Mr. Nagabhushanam were detained in Guntur, it said.