They were intercepted at Tiruvottriyur by Chennai police and taken into preventive custody.

L Murugan BJP Vel Yatra
news Politics Sunday, November 08, 2020 - 19:48

Tamil Nadu’s BJP State President L Murugan along with hundreds of his party cadres were detained by Chennai police for a second time on November 8. BJP state President L Murugan, senior leader Ela Ganesan, vice-president Annamalai, Karu Nagarajan, KP Radhakrishnan were among others who have been arrested. The party was intercepted at Tiruvottriyur by Chennai police and taken into preventive custody, while they were on their way to pursue the controversial vel yatra.

Confirming the news to TNM, Thiruvottiyur police told TNM that close to 500 BJP members had arrived at the location during the second day of the Vel Yatra on Sunday. It began from Thiruvottriyur Vadivudaiamman temple and all of them have been detained and lodged at a wedding hall in the neighbourhood. Visuals from melee showed an ambulance stuck in traffic on Poonamallee High Road for about half hour.

Speaking just before the rally began, L Murugan said that BJP would turn out to be an important kingmaker in the upcoming state elections. "The Chief Minister will be the one that BJP points out. BJP is going to decide the party in power," he claimed.

While the case will be registered, violation of Section 144 being a bailable one, the group is expected to be released later in the evening.

Notably, just a day before, on Saturday, BJP had sought for an urgent hearing of a plea demanding permission to conduct Vel Yatra in Tamil Nadu starting November 8 until December 8.

BJP members were arrested on November 6 at Tiruttani for violating lockdown norms and for unlawful gathering of a huge number of persons. The members had started from Chennai in a convoy to Tiruttani and were stopped at Nazarathpet, about 25 kilometres from Chennai. According to reports, the group was expected to travel from Thiruvottiyur to other parts of the city.

Tamil Nadu government had earlier denied permission to the BJP to conduct the vel yatra stating that there was a possibility of a second wave of coronavirus. Allowing vel yatra, the state government believed, would risk further transmission.

With an eye on consolidating the Hindu votes across Tamil Nadu ahead of the 2021 Assembly Elections, the TN BJP has announced the month-long vel yatra in honour of Lord Murugan, considered to be Tamil god. The political party has plans of visiting the six abodes of Lord Muruga located in different parts of the state. 

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