September 7, 2009 6:49:29 pm
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was today detained at the airport here to prevent him from leaving for violence-hit Sangli district to address a rally,prompting protests by party workers who were baton charged by the police.
Deputy Police Commissioner Brijesh Singh said Munde was stopped from going to the area following an order issued by the Kolhapur District Collector.
Mundes address at Miraj could have aggravated the tense situation in the district,officials said.
The BJP general secretary was scheduled to visit Miraj in Sangli district where curfew is in place following communal violence during Ganesh festival. He was to take a private airlines flight to Kolhapur from where he was scheduled to go by road to Miraj.
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Munde was released soon after his detention,police said.
About 100 to 150 BJP workers held demonstration and tried to barge into the airport after their leader was stopped there.
In order to control the situation,police lathi-charged the crowd protesting outside the airport. Mundes boarding pass was also seized, the deputy police commissioner told PTI.
Minister of State for Home,Nitin Raut was stopped from flying to Kolhapur. Munde and Raut were stopped following an order issued by the Kolhapur District Collector, he said.
Munde was to address a meeting in connection with a recent riot at Miraj in the district,BJP sources said.
BJP activists tried to barge into the airport when Munde was inside,talking to authorities,the police said,adding the situation is now under control.
Meanwhile,Munde blamed police for the tension at Miraj.
Police are mishandling the situation by not allowing immersion of Ganesh idols. I was going there to listen to the people but was detained by police at the airport, said Munde who left for Miraj by road.
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