As many as 15 Congress MLAs and 10 other senior leaders and workers were detained by the Gandhinagar police on Wednesday after they protested demanding re-survey of damage caused by Cyclone Tauktae in coastal districts of Gujarat and subsequent compensation.
On Wednesday morning, several Congress MLAs assembled at the official residence of Leader of Opposition (LOP) Paresh Dhanani in Gandhinagar and later started marching towards the Mahatma Gandhi statue installed at Gujarat Vidhansabha.
Hanging placards on their necks, the Congress legislators including Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Amit Chavda and LOP Paresh Dhanani demanded a re-survey of the affected districts in coastal areas of Gujarat and subsequent compensation for the affected families. Before they could reach the Gandhi statue, the MLAs were forcibly picked up by the Gandhinagar police.
“On one hand, livelihood of lakhs of families have been destroyed due to the cyclone, forcing them to run haywire and on the other hand, Congress leaders are being held by police if they try to speak up for their issues,” said Dhanani, moments before he was detained.
The Congress legislators were then brought to the superintendent of police office in Gandhinagar where they were kept for three hours under detention. As a mark of protest, other Congress workers staged a sit in at the SP office alleging high handedness from the police.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mayur Chavda, SP Gandhinagar said, “Around 15 Congress MLAs and other party workers were detained by the police and later released.”
Later Dhanani wrote a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanding re-survey of the affected areas of Cyclone Tauktae that hit Gujarat coast on May 18.
“Due to cyclone Tauktae, farmers in districts such as Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar have suffered major damage as 100% of their fruits have been destroyed. Many of these trees were raised by the farmers for the past 15-20 years which have been totally destroyed due to Tauktae. People associated with animal husbandry especially the Maldhari community has also suffered immense damage. Due to the cyclone, many electricity poles were damaged in these areas due to which till date there is electricity blackout problem due to which healthcare and other facilities are also being affected. The state government has given cash doles to only some villages which is unfair to other villages that have also been affected. Therefore we demand a re-survey of the districts and subsequent compensation,” said Dhanani in his letter.