Andhra Pradesh, Dec 5: BJP leaders including the party’s state president Somu Veerraju have been arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Police, as they tried to take out a procession in Ramatheertham against the desecration of Ram idol.

The BJP leaders were attempting to take out a yatra to protest the desecration of Ram idol at a temple last month. Police said the BJP leaders were arrested as they were defying ban orders that are in force in the area.

The BJP and Jana Sena announced the Ramateertha Dharma Yatra to protest against the December 28 incident in which the head of Lord Rama’s idol at the famous Ramateertham hill temple in Vizianagaram district was found defaced.

Initially, the police had allowed the state BJP president and others to the temple at Ramateertham but this permission was later withdrawn citing prohibitory orders under Section 30 of the Police Act.

As per the reports, the police said they arrested the BJP state president and others for violating prohibitory orders.

Meanwhile, the BJP has said several of its leaders were placed under house arrest in different places.

Tension prevailed in the Ramatheertham area as the BJP workers and the police jostled with each other.

Accusing the police of having partisan behavior, BJP state president Veerraju reported asked how the police allowed YSR Congress MP Vijaya Sai Reddy and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu to visit the temple last week, while leaders from the BJP and Jana Sena are being prevented from doing the same.

“They first gave permission for our visit but then they withdrew it. This is atrocious,” Veerraju said.