Before embarking on statewide tour, Kanhaiya detained briefly in Bihar
Bettiah/Motihari: Leftist leader Kanhaiya Kumar was on Thursday thwarted from addressing a rally in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in West Champaran district of Bihar, where he was detained by officials who told him that permission for the event had been "cancelled" at the eleventh hour.
There was heavy deployment of police when Kumar arrived at the Bhitiharwa Ashram, set up by Mahatma Gandhi, at around 10 am as per schedule, along with hundreds of supporters.
The former JNU student leader was allowed to enter the premises, garland a statue of Gandhi and take part in singing of devotional songs on the occasion of his death anniversary.
"When we were about to leave for the venue of the rally in Bettiah, an official came forward to inform that he was the sub-divisional magistrate and we were being detained since permission for our rally was cancelled. He, however, did not produce any official communication in this regard," Kumar told PTI over phone.
As his supporters grew agitated, Kumar urged them to stay calm and send across the message that they are law-abiding people. He delivered a brief speech, video footage of which was shared on social media and which he signed off in his typical style, with rendition of "azadi" verses.
Kumar was let off after a couple of hours and he subsequently left for Motihari, the headquarters of adjoining East Champaran district to address another rally.
Officials in West Champaran remained tight-lipped over the development though sources in the local administration said on condition of anonymity that the measure was taken in view of the district being "communally sensitive".
"The permission for rally at Bettiah was cancelled without any valid reason. We were detained and let off after the local administration received instructions from higher authorities," Kumar said.