Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, who was scheduled to lead a silent march at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) today, has allegedly been placed under ‘house arrest’ by the Mumbai police.
Nirupam’s march was going to take place at the same venue where where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a public meeting later today.
“The area outside my house is under heavy police bandobast and I am being prevented from stepping out,” Nirupam told Press Trust of India alleging that “in the present democratic set up opposition leaders are being virtually kept under house-arrest.”
“Police weren’t ready to let me go to the gym at 7am. Now they’re in heavy numbers outside my house,” Nirupam told TNIE over a phone call.
— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) December 24, 2016
Mumbai Police, however, denied Nirupam’s claims and said the personnel deployed outside his residence were a part of the security arrangements made across the city in the wake of PM’s visit.
“We have deployed policemen across the city especially on the route of PM’s convoy to maintain law and order as well as to avoid any untoward incident during his visit,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe.
The Congress leader also said that the march will take place as per schedule and they have time till afternoon to decide on the strategy.
“We have a lot of questions for the PM. He should answer to graft allegations made by our Vice President Rahul Gandhi instead of mocking him. Modi should also answer when the people will get back their right to deposit and withdraw their own hard earned money from banks. It’s more than a month. Since demonetisation citizens are still suffering due to cash crunch,” he said.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Mohan Prakash, also condemned Mumbai police’s decision to curb democratic rights of political rivals, which he claimed was done at the behest of the government.
“Earlier government put restrictions on citizens’ rights to access their money and now there are restrictions on freedom of expression as well,” he said, adding that the Congress workers were to only going to hold placards in the march and not protests.
“The government does not want to see people’s hardships. If they don’t want to see the placards people will show them the mirror in which they will see their failures,” he added.
Congress wanted to hold the march to highlight the hardships faced by citizens due to demonetisation, among other issues.
Nirupam also released a video expressing his angst against the government for violating his rights.
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— Mumbai Congress (@MumCongress) December 24, 2016