Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party President Rakesh Singh were among nearly 1,000 party workers detained on Friday during a protest against the Congress government in Indore, PTI reported. They were later released, according to ANI.
Others who were detained included Indore Lok Sabha MP Shankar Lalwani and the city’s mayor Malini Laxman Singh Gaur.
Superintendent of Police (West) Awadhesh Kumar Goswami told reporters that the BJP workers protested in front of the Indore collectorate in defiance of restrictions imposed on large gatherings. He added that they tried to remove police barricades to enter the collectorate.
“We made precautionary arrest of some 1,000 protestors to ensure no untoward incident took place,” Goswami said.
The BJP leaders alleged that Chief Minister Kamal Nath was targeting them and office-bearers as a part of its campaign against land mafia in the state.
Earlier in the day, Public Relations Minister PC Sharma said the anti-mafia drive was effective and hundreds of arrests were made in several sectors over the past six months. “We took action against 615 mafia elements in the real estate sector, 694 in liquor, 150 in adulteration, 149 in extortion, 65 in housing cooperative sector,” he added. “During the drive against illegal mining, 1330 cases were registered, in addition to 8294 for illegal transportation of minerals and 531 for illegal storage.”