Lucknow: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was detained in Uttar Pradesh on Friday on her way to a village in Sonbhadra where 10 people were killed in a shootout this week over a land dispute.
The Congress general secretary sat on the road and protested until she was taken away in a government car to a guest house.
Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress in-charge of eastern UP, was seen in visuals sitting on a road in Mirzapur near Sonbhadra, surrounded by her security and Congress workers. “I only want to meet the affected families, whose members have been mercilessly shot dead. A boy of my son’s age was shot at and is lying in hospital. Tell me on what legal basis I have been stopped,” Priyanka Gandhi told NDTV.
She had landed this morning at Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where she went to a hospital to see those wounded in the Sonbhadra massacre.
As she was being taken away in a government official’s vehicle, she said: “I don’t know where they are taking me, we are ready to go anywhere.”
A police officer, Awadhesh Pandey, confirmed that “Priyanka-ji” had been taken into custody.
At the guest house where she was taken, Priyanka Gandhi told workers: “I only wanted to go to Sonbhadra so that people there don’t feel alone. I have been arrested and brought here but I will not leave this place till I meet with the families.” ‘
Meanwhile 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.”
Ten people were killed and over 24 injured on Wednesday when a village chief, Yagya Dutt, and his associates, fired on a group of tribal farmers who had refused to give up 36 acres of land they had tilled for generations. Witnesses said Yagya Dutt had brought nearly 200 men on 32 tractor trolleys to seize the land. The men fired at the tribals for over half-an-hour in one of the most chilling incidents the country has seen in recent times.
Till now, 24 people have been arrested for the mass murder. A total of 78 people have been charged, including Yagya Dutt and his brother.