Around 40 people who gathered at Dharchula in Pithoragarh district to protest the State government’s handling of the mid-June deluge, were arrested before Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna’s visit to the place on Monday.

The arrested persons included a CPI (M-L) leader Jagat Martolia. Except Mr. Martolia, the others were later released.

Govind Kafaliya, CPI (M-L) district spokesperson, said: “The residents of Dharchula and some CPI (M-L) members planned to gherao Mr. Bahuguna at the Bhotia Padao here. Around 40 people had gathered by 11.30 a.m. The police then came and arrested all of them.”

Dharchula was among the worst-hit areas during the Uttarakhand disaster, Mr. Kafaliya said.

“Issues related to migration and rehabilitation were to be raised by the residents during the protest as the local administration hasn’t been able to resolve them.”

Mr. Martolia will be detained until Mr. Bahuguna’s return from Dharchula on Tuesday, official sources told The Hindu.