Coimbatore: Over 1,000 workers of BJP and various Hindu outfits, including VHP, were arrested for "unlawful assembly" when they attempted to pay floral tributes to the victims of serial bomb blasts that rocked the city 16 years ago during the visit of BJP leader L K Advani.
As around 300 workers from Shiv Sena, Hanuman Sena, Hindu Makkal Katchi and other Hindu outfits, started coming to the venue in R S Puram, where the first blast occurred on February 14, 1998, police took them into custody. Police had refused permission to the outfits to organise any meeting in connection with the blast anniversary.
On arrival of state BJP President Pon Radhakrishnan, the crowd started surging to pay homage at the place, where a photograph of 'Bharat Mata' and saffron flags were kept.
As Radhakrishnan was addressing the gathering, the workers numbering about 750, including 30 women, were arrested for 'unlawful assembly,' police said.
Later, Radhakrishnan, BJP state secretary GKS Selvakumar, Treasurer S R Sekhar, VHP Tamil Nadu Organising Secretary Bhaskaran, Hindu Munnani leaders and BJP youth wing chief Muruganandam were also arrested.
The serial blasts in and around the city had claimed 58 lives, when Advani visited the city for electioneering.