Hundreds of Congress workers led by senior party leaders,who were marching towards Gandhinagar in violation of the state government orders after a state-level Save Democracy programme at the Sabarmati Ashram here on Monday,were detained by the police.
However,all of them were released after about three-and-a-half hours.
State Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia,AICC general secretary and partys Gujarat in-charge Mohan Prakash,partys campaign committee chairman Shankersinh Waghela,union ministers Dinsha Patel and Tushar Chaudhary,and former deputy chief minister Narhari Amin were detained at the crime branch office while workers were taken to Shahibaug police headquarters and released.
Congress leaders later said the police action amounted to gagging democracy.
The Congress programme,coinciding with the Salt Agitation launched by Mahatma Gandhi from the same venue on March 12,1930,was organised to protest the suspension of the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil.
Last week,Gohil was suspended for the entire budget session following his comments in the Assembly that industrialist Gautam Adani had been allotted acres of land at throwaway prices as he was having partnership in the land deal with a minister in Chief Minister Narendra Modis cabinet.
While the Congress was allowed to hold a public meeting adjoining the Sabarmati Ashram,it was denied permission to take out the rally to Gandhingar.
However,party leaders and workers tried to march towards the state capital even as Modhwadia exhorted them saying Gandhinagar was not in Pakistan and hence there was no bar on marching there.
As the Congress workers tried to break the police cordon and march ahead,police used mild force to detain them.
Earlier,addressing the meeting at Sabarmati Ashram,Modhwadia dubbed Modi a Hitler and said his government wanted to stifle the opposition
by suspending Gohil for
the rest of the Assembly session. This is nothing but murder of democracy, Modhwadia said.
Vaghela said Gohils suspension was an unwise step heralding decimation of the BJP government in the state.
Meanwhile,Vadodara Congress chief Narendra Ravat and seven party workers were detained near the toll plaza on Ahmedabad-Vadodara Express Highway on their way to Ahmedabad to attend the party rally on Monday.
They were going to attend Congress rally at Sabarmati Ashram and we detained them under Section 68 of Gujarat Police Act as a preventive measure, C K Raulji,sub-inspector of Vadodara taluka police said.
The detainees were taken to Vadodara taluka police station in Bhadra Kacheri area released in the afternoon,police said.