Mumbai Police on Wednesday afternoon detained senior Karnataka Congress leader and minister D.K. Shivakumar, Mumbai Congress leaders Milind M. Deora, Nadeem Khan and others outside Hotel Renaissance, officials said.
Deora, Shivakumar and Khan, Deputy House Leader of the Congress in the Maharashtra Assembly, were planning to intervene and resolve the Karnataka crisis after 10 rebel Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators remained holed up inside the hotel.
However, the Mumbai Police, saying it had imposed prohibitory orders around the hotel premises, detained these leaders for allegedly flouting the restrictions and took them away in waiting vans.
Former Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, who was also present outside the hotel, slammed the police action.
“I condemn the Mumbai Police for stopping Shivakumar. This is not the culture of Maharashtra to treat an honourable Minister of a state,” Nirupam wrote on Twitter.
Tagging Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the tweet, he wrote: “Don’t behave like this. Allow him to meet his colleagues who have been captured by the BJP in the hotel.”
Nirupam’s comments came after the police prevented Shivakumar from entering the hotel premises though he had a suite booked, which the hotel cancelled citing an “emergency”.
Undeterred, Shivakumar stood outside the hotel in heavy rain and interacted with the local media.
“I won’t go without meeting my friends. They will call me. Their hearts will give in. I am in touch with them already, our hearts are beating for each other,” Shivakumar said in an emotional appeal.
Calling the rebels his “brothers” who loved and respected each other, he termed the crisis as “a family problem”.
The police action came on a letter written on Tuesday by the rebel MLAs to Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve pleading for protection from Karnataka leaders like Kumaraswamy, Shivakumar and others.
Shivakumar, however, denied the apprehensions. “There is no question of threatening anyone,” he said.