Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, said that the Mumbai Police briefly detained him on Wednesday as he left his home to commemorate the Quit India Day at August Kranti Maidan.

Besides Tushar Gandhi, activists including Teesta Setalvad and freedom fighter GG Parikh were also briefly stopped by the police and eventually let off to reach the August Kranti Maidan.

On August 9, 1942, Mohandas Gandhi had launched the non-violent civil disobedience Quit India Movement to demand freedom from the British rule.

On Wednesday, a group of activists who were part of the commemoration, said in a press release that they have witnessed a “draconian crackdown by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led” regime in Maharashtra. “Dr GG Parikh who was a young student when he participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942, and who continues to lead this march even at the age of 99, is utterly distraught at this bizarre turn of events,” they said.

The police went to the homes of Tushar Gandhi and Setalvad on Wednesday morning and told them that they would not be allowed to go to the August Kranti Maidan, the press release said.

“Later, Tushar Gandhi was taken to the Santacruz Police station, whilst Teesta Setalvad was asked to stay indoors,” it said. “Every year, we, as the people’s movement, commemorate the ‘Quit India Movement’ by marching from the Tilak Statue at Girgaum Chowpatty to the August Kranti Maidan. But this year, we have been prevented by this communal fascist regime.”

Setalvad also shared pictures of police officials standing outside her house to prevent her from participating in the silent march.

The police detained 27 activists associated with today’s event at DB Marg police station and Tushar Gandhi was detained at Santacruz police station, Feroze Mithiborwala, one of the activists involved in the march, told Scroll.

“The government this year had their own plans and our activists were detained at Girgaum to avoid any clashes,” Mithiborwala said. “We told the police we will finish the march between 8 am to 9 am, before the government event. But they did not listen.”

However, the police dismissed the allegations and said that they were only verifying details of the programme and allowed the activists to participate in the event.

The activists were asked to attend the event and pay tributes at the August Kranti Maidan if they wanted to, but the rally was not allowed due to law and order and security-related issues, an unidentified police official said, reported PTI. The permission for the rally was denied and a written communication about it was sent to the organisers, the official said.

The activists said that for the first time BJP-led government is attempting to commemorate the Quit India Day, which was opposed by their ideological predecessors the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and Hindu Mahasabha.

“The advertisement issued by the BJP-led government does not even mention the QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT,” they said. “It’s once again clear that the BJP-RSS are trying their best, or rather their worst, to co-opt and distort our freedom struggle.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tribute to Mohandas Gandhi and said that today’s India demands corruption, dynastic politics, and appeasement to leave the country.