GODHRA (Gujarat): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today began a day-long fast here as part of his 'Sadhbhavana Mission, a move which comes nearly a month ahead of the tenth anniversary of the Godhra carnage.
Before the fast meant to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood could begin, social activist Shabnam Hashmi and five others of NGO Anhad were detained for organising a convention 'In search of Justice'.
Modi arrived at the fast venue at the State Reserve Police (SRP) ground here at 11 AM where he was greeted by his cabinet colleagues and local MPs and MLAs, besides BJP leaders and priests from various religions.
A huge crowd had gathered at the venue from all sections of society.
Godhra, the epicenter of communal turbulence in 2002, has transformed virtually into a police base camp ahead of the fast. Over 1,600 policemen have been deployed along with 50 specially trained Chetak commandos and other unarmed jawans across the town.
Police said six activists were detained as they wanted to hold a public function despite permission being denied to them.
The fast is being held nearly a month before the tenth anniversary of Godhra carnage. 59 persons, mostly karsevaks, were killed when the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train was burnt near Godhra Railway station on February 27, 2002 triggering worst-ever riots in the state.
Former BJP leader Nalin Bhatt, who was to participate in an anti-Modi rally organised by the Deen Dayal Seva Sangarsh Samiti founded by him, was detained in Vadodara this morning.
"Police picked me up from my residence at 6.am and has detained me at the Gotri police station when I was on my way to Godhra to protest against Modi's Sadbhavna fast," he told PTI over phone.
Bhatt had quit the BJP before the 2007 assembly elections and formed his own outfit.