The Telangana Police has stopped state BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar when he was proceeding towards Bhainsa town to launch the fifth phase of 'Praja Sangrama Yatra' from Monday.
After denying permission for the yatra and the public meeting in Bhainsa town of Nirmal district, police stopped Bandi Sanjay and other leaders and party workers accompanying him and sent them back.
The convoy of Sanjay, who is also a Member of Parliament, was forced to stop near Tatipalli in Jagtiyal mandal. The police asked him to return citing lack of permission for the padyatra.
The BJP leader took strong objection to the police action. He evaded police and left in a vehicle of a party worker. The police then stopped him near Venkatapur in Korutla mandal. Agitated over this, Sanjay and his supporters staged a protest by squatting on the road.
Police detained the BJP leader and sent him back to Jagtiyal. He claimed that police initially granted permission but after all arrangements were made withdrew the same.
"They are saying Bhaina is a sensitive place. Is Bhainsa some prohibited area," Sanjay asked.
Communally sensitive Bhainsa had seen communal riots on few occasions in the past and the police have the apprehension that the padyatra may disturb public order.
The state BJP Chief said he was returning to Karimnagar at the request of the police and would wait till Monday afternoon. He vowed to go ahead with the padyatra.
The BJP is said to be planning to approach the Telangana High Court on Monday to challenge the police order disallowing the padyatra.
The saffron party has condemned the police action against Bandi Sanjay. Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao said the action reflects the autocratic rule in the state.
The fifth phase of padyatra was scheduled to start from Bhainsa. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was invited to address the public meeting to mark the beginning of the padyatra.
The fifth phase of the walkathon is scheduled for 20 days. As per the schedule announced by the party, it will culminate at Karimnagar on December 17.