The Communist Party of India criticised the detention of its parliamentary party leader Gurudas Dasgupta by the Haryana police on Wednesday and demanded that he be set free.

Party general secretary A.B. Bardhan said here that Mr. Dasgupta, who heads the AITUC, one of the country’s biggest trade unions, was detained by the police as he was heading towards Gurgaon where workers had been agitating for some months. “This act of the Haryana police constitutes a gross intervention in legitimate trade union activities. Neither has a single law been breached nor were prohibitory orders violated. The atmosphere is bright for a settlement [between the striking workers and the management],” Mr. Bardhan said in a statement.

He described the police act as frustrating attempts to settle the dispute.

He demanded that Mr. Dasgupta be released immediately and he be allowed to work for a settlement. Reports from Gurgaon, a suburb near Delhi, said Mr. Dasgupta was taken into preventive custody by the Haryana police when he was proceeding to address a workers’ rally there.