The arrested persons, belonging to fringe outfits, were attempting to disrupt the conference by inciting the public through distribution of pamphlets, said DGP Letika Saran, even as questions were asked about the propriety of the police action.
Facing a barrage of questions about the grounds and necessity for arresting those expressing dissent, she said, There are several lakhs of people from all over the state and outside coming to Coimbatore to attend the conference. We want to ensure that it is conducted smoothly, without any incidents.
We had intelligence inputs about an attempt to disrupt the conference, and thus acted swiftly to prevent that, she said, underlining that none of the arrested persons were Naxalites as rumoured earlier.
After four persons were picked up from Dharmapuri on Thursday, once a hotbed of Naxal activities, five more were arrested including four from Coimbatore.
This is the second police action against those protesting against the conference, after the district police here arrested cadres of opposition parties who were attempting to put up posters.