JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president GA Mir was detained on Tuesday along with senior party leaders and workers during a protest against the hike in prices of petrol and other essential commodities in Rajouri district, a party spokesman said.
Prominent among those taken into preventive custody included JKPCC vice president Raman Bhalla, former legislators Ravinder Sharma and Ashok Sharma, former minister and District Development Council (DDC) vice chairman Shabir Khan, the spokesman said.
An official said dozens of Congress activists, including Mir, were detained briefly to maintain law and order.
JKPCC chief spokesman Ravinder Sharma said a contingent of police personnel stopped the Congress activists led by Mir from marching towards the office of Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri and later the top leadership along with hundreds of workers were arrested.
Earlier addressing the protesters, Mir said the BJP's claim of providing 'pro-people' governance stands exposed as the central government has allegedly failed miserably to address the issues affecting the public.
"The common man is going through the worst sufferings under the current dispensation, which has sold its soul to few businessmen, ignoring the agonies of the countrymen," he alleged.
The Congress leader said the country is presently going through a state of crisis.
"The graph of the inflation is on a constant rise, the fuel prices have touched the sky, and lakhs of farmers across the country are protesting for repeal of three farm laws aiming to snatch their right over their own lands.
"The victims of these three issues are the common men, the countrymen who are the true sons of the soil," he said.
The JKPCC chief dwelt upon a volley of subjects and expressed concern over 'vicious political environment' across the country, describing division of people on the basis of religion for votes as 'dangerous'.
"The votes should be sought on the plank of nation building, development, upliftment of poor and not by exploiting religion," he said, adding the youth have to play a crucial role by negating and isolating all such forces which hoodwink them by generating fear about 'religion being in danger'.
Expressing dismay over the functioning of the government in Jammu and Kashmir led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the party's J-K chief accused the administration of working against the interests of the people.
"Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a most difficult phase with the insensitive BJP government pursuing anti-poor policies," he said.
Mir accused BJP of plunging Jammu and Kashmir into uncertainty and said their inherent contradictions can lead to unprecedented political crisis.