Party reiterates its plan to hoist tricolour in Lal Chowk on Republic Day

In a bid to prevent any law and order problem that may arise following the BJP's plan to hoist the tricolour at Lal Chowk on Republic Day, the police have arrested the head of the party's Kashmir unit.

Mohammad Yusuf Sofi was arrested on Saturday night from a hotel in Srinagar. “He was in a hotel but had given impression through media that he was in Jammu,” a senior police officer told The Hindu.

The BJP has reiterated its plan to hoist the tricolour in Srinagar despite the government's decision not to allow the unity rally beyond Lakhanpur on the Punjab border.

Police sources said two more BJP activists were arrested from Lal Chowk on Sunday when they were trying to fix flags and paste posters.

A high-level security arrangement has been put in place to thwart the attempts of both the BJP and separatists to disrupt the “peace” on January 26.

“Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday reviewed the general law and order situation,” an official spokesman said.

Official sources said the authorities might impose curfew in the Lal Chowk area on Wednesday to ensure peaceful Republic Day celebrations.

A high alert had been sounded across the State in view of reports of attempts to disrupt Republic Day.

Security had been tightened at Jawahar Tunnel connecting Srinagar with Jammu, at the Jammu railway station and airports.

Finance Minister A.R. Rather will unfurl the tricolour in Srinagar, while the main function will be held in Jammu, where Governor N.N. Vohra will hoist the flag.

The BJP has changed its plan from crossing over to Jammu and Kashmir from Lakhanpur. BJP State president Shamsher Singh Manhas said that instead of the party's earlier plan of the yatra entering the State from Lakhanpur, it will now come through Madhopur.

Over 50,000 Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and BJP activists accompanying the Ekta Yatra would assemble at Madhopur on January 25 where a rally would be held.

“There will be no compromise on unfurling the tricolour as the BJYM is committed in its mission,” said another BJP leader Nirmal Singh.