Dubai: An Indian expatriate in the UAE has been arrested in Dubai for organising a march in support of the anti-corruption movement launched by social activist Anna Hazare. Hazare is on an indefinite fast in New Delhi.
More than 150 Indian nationals had gathered at Dubai's Al Mamzar Beach last evening for a three-kilometre march in support of the Gandhian. Halfway through the walk, the local police arrived and ordered everyone, except the organiser, to leave, The National newspaper reported today.
"We were suddenly stopped by police," one of the participants, who did not wish to be named, said. "We were asked to leave immediately. It was just a peaceful walk," he was quoted as saying by the daily.
Confirming the arrest, a senior Dubai police criminal investigations official said the man, who was not named in the report, was being interrogated at the Al Muraqqabat Police station for "illegally organising a march through Facebook". He said no permit had been obtained for the march.
The official said police units were sent to the scene and marchers were dispersed. One person was taken into custody for organising the march.
Members of the group, including children, were wearing badges that read, "I support Anna" and carrying the tricolour.
According to UAE law, a suspect can be held without charge for 48 hours before being referred to the prosecution.
The Indian consulate said it was aware of the arrest and would provide assistance. They have appealed to Indian nationals to obey local laws. "It is important to show sensitivity and respect local laws," Sanjay Verma, the Indian consul general, said.