Over two dozen BJP MLAs, demonstrating outside the Chief Minister's residence here over a series of demands including withdrawal of alleged "false" cases against some of them, were forcibly lifted and detained.
As per a pre-announced programme, around 26 BJP MLAs led by party's pradesh unit president Tirath Singh Rawat, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ajay Bhatt, former Speaker Harbans Kapoor, Mussoorie legislator Ganesh Joshi and Rudrapur MLA Rajkumar Thukral, marched to the Chief Minister's residence shouting anti-government slogans and sat on a dharna outside it.
The MLAs insisted on meeting the Chief Minister, who had gone out of station on a tour.
The Chief Minister's media in-charge Surendra Kumar met the protesting MLAs and asked them to give him the memorandum of demands promising to pass it on to the chief minister when he returns, but they refused.
When the MLAs refused to stop the protest, police personnel intervened lifting all of them from the dharna venue and took them to police lines in a vehicle. A few protesting MLAs including Bhatt, Thukral and Kaladhungi MLA Banshidhar Bhagat received minor injuries in the process.
Taking strong exception to the manner in which the opposition MLAs were treated, Bhatt said it was quite unwarranted as the MLAs were demonstrating in a democratic way.
"The coercive manner in which opposition MLAs were handled only strengthens our resolve to further intensify our agitation for our demands," Bhatt said.
The BJP has been demanding withdrawal of "false" cases against its Gadarpur MLA Arvind Pandey, Rudrapur MLA Rajkumar Thukral and Lohaghat MLA Puran Singh Phartyal, booked on different occasions under different charges.
The party has been particularly peeved�at Chief Minister Harish Raswat's refusal to meet the wife and son of MLA Arvind Pandey, who was sent to jail recently on charges of assaulting a government official on duty. (MORE)