Priyanka Gandhi detained on way to meet kin of UP firing victims
LUCKNOW, July 19: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was on Friday detained near Varanasi by police when she was going to a village in Sonbhadra district, where 10 persons were gunned down on Wednesday by a village head and his men over a land dispute. Some villagers were also injured in the incident.
The administration has imposed restrictive orders for assembly, under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, in Sonbhadra.
While being taken away in a police jeep, mediapersons asked Priyanka Gandhi if she was arrested, to which she replied, "Ji(yes)". In no mood to relent, Priyanka said, "We still won't be cowed down. We were only going peacefully to meet victim families [of Sonbhadra firing case] who have fallen to the bullets in the clash. I want to see the orders under which I have been
stopped. I don't know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere."
"We have been stopped. I am asking them to show me the order or law under which it is being done. I am telling them I will go only with four people [permissible assembly under Section 144]. I only want to meet the victims' families," she said. Priyanka earlier visited the injured people at the trauma centre in BHU, Varanasi.
Priyanka Gandhi after meeting the victims at Varanasi was scheduled to go to Sonbhadra, but the Congress general secretary was stopped in Mirzapur, following which she staged a sit-in along with party workers and leaders.
Earlier, Priyanka, along with State Congress leaders, sat on a dharna in Narayanpur on Mirzapur Road, saying she was not being allowed to visit the families of the victims in Sonbhadra.
Terming the 'arrest' illegal and disturbing, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "The illegal arrest of Priyanka in Sonbhadra, UP, is disturbing. This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP Govt's increasing insecurity in UP."
In a Facebook post, Mr Vadra called Priyanka Gandhi's "arrest" unconstitutional. "The way my wife & congress leader, Priyanka has been arrested, is completely unconstitutional. No documents were produced for the arrest," he said.
"This is a complete abuse of law in every respect. Is it a crime to visit the family of the deceased? Does this government wants (sic.) to suppress every voice that sides (with) the truth," he said.
Mr Vadra also called on the Yogi Adityanath-led government to "let democracy be a democracy and not a dictatorship". -THE HINDU