The police, on Monday, prevented the Hindu Aikya Vedi activists from staging a hunger strike at Marad for security reasons. The activists, who reached the costal area to protest against the alleged indifference of the Union government in ordering a CBI inquiry into the Marad riot, were blocked near Jinaraj Das Aided Lower Primary School and arrested on charge of unlawful assembly.
The police are tightening security in the area in connection with the approaching anniversary of the Marad killings. The protesters were charged under Section 283 of the Indian Penal Code for causing obstruction in the public way. The police said the organisation had not obtained permission to stage hunger strike in the communally sensitive area.
The protesters who refused to disperse from the area later staged a sit-in condemning the police action against a “peaceful meet”. They alleged that the police officials were being intolerant towards a democratic means of protest.
State president of the Vedi K.P. Sasikala said the police action was a reflection of the “State-sponsored terrorism,” which could not be justified on any ground. “The hunger strike was planned in a peaceful and democratic way, but the police were acting in a quite spiteful manner,” she said. The arrested persons included both the workers of the Hindu Aikya Vedi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Leaders of the Hindu Aikya Vedi said they would organise State-wide campaigns against the police action and the bid to foil the hunger strike.