It’s ‘illegal arrest’: Rahul; Yogi blames previous Congress Govt for snatching tribals’ farmland
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was on Friday detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra where 10 people were gunned down on Wednesday in a land dispute, escalating the political slugfest over the killings by village pradhan and his henchmen.
Priyanka was taken to a guesthouse in Chunar in Mirzapur district after she squatted with her supporters at Narainpur on the Varanasi-Mirzapur road, insisting that she be allowed to proceed and meet the families of those killed on Wednesday.
The district magistrate and the superintendent of police were talking with her at the Chunar guesthouse to persuade her from travelling ahead, Deputy Inspector General Piyush Kumar Srivastava told PTI. But the standoff showed no sign of ending till late evening.
Terming the action against his sister “illegal arrest”, Rahul Gandhi said, “This arbitrary application of power reveals the BJP Government’s increasing insecurity in UP.”
While the Congress said by detaining Priyanka, the UP Government won’t be able to cover up the killing of 10 tribals by gram pradhan and his henchmen, Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra lashed out at the State administration, saying the dispensation should immediately release her and not let democracy turn into dictatorship.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath blamed the previous Congress Governments for the land dispute, citing how the piece of land tilled by the villagers was bought and sold over the decades. Promising justice, he announced in the State Assembly that a sub-divisional magistrate and four policemen have been suspended. Twenty-nine people were arrested, he said.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was with her at the guesthouse, told PTI, “We have clearly said, either let us meet the victims or send us to jail.”
“Action has been taken against 151 CrPC and Priyanka Gandhi and other members of the Congress have been stopped from proceeding to Sonbhadra, where prohibitory orders have been promulgated,” Mirzapur District Magistrate Anurag Patel told PTI.
“She will not be allowed to proceed for apprehension of breach of peace. If she decides to stay back here we will extend security to her,” the DM said.
As Congress leaders came out in Gandhi’s support and party workers held protests against the UP government, Trinamool Congress announced in New Delhi that it too planned to send a delegation to Sonbhadra on Saturday.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati issued a statement, asking the State’s BJP Government to ensure justice for the Sonbhadra victims. But she blamed both the BJP and the Congress for “atrocities” on tribals in the past.
“A boy of my son’s age was shot at and is lying in hospital. Tell me on what legal basis have I been stopped here,” Priyanka said.
When told about the prohibitory orders preventing the Assembly of five or more people in the area, she said she will go to Sonbhadra with a lesser number of supporters. “BJP has failed to control crime but is stopping me from discharging my duty. No one can stop me from standing in support of the victims. Please stop crime.”
Ten people were killed and 28 injured in the clash between supporters of a village headman, Yagya Dutt, and the Gond tribals in Sonbhadra’s Ghorawal area on Wednesday.
Saturday, 20 July 2019 | PNS/PTI | Mirzapur/ Lucknow/New Delhi
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