Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was stopped 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.
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.
This is the 47-year-old leader’s second visit to UP since the national election, in which the Congress could manage just one of 80 seats despite a high-profile campaign by Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul Gandhi.
She 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.
Later, as she headed for Sonbhadra 80 km away, reports emerged that gatherings had been banned at the district. “I am sitting peacefully, can someone please show me the order,” she said at the spot where her convoy was stopped.
As she was being taken away in a government official’s vehicle, she said: “I don’t know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere.”
Ten persons were killed and over 24 injured in the shooting on Wednesday over a 36-acre piece of land. A village chief, Yagya Dutt, and his associates fired on a group of tribal farmers who had refused to give up the land they had tilled for generations. Witnesses said Yagya Dutt had brought nearly 200 men on 32 tractor trolleys to seize the land. After the tribals opposed, the men fired at them for over half-an-hour in one of the most chilling incidents the country has seen in recent times.
Yagya Dutt claimed he had bought the land 10 years ago from a prominent local family. He was arrested today, after a two-day hunt.
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.
The day the incident took place, Priyanka Gandhi had tweeted: “In the BJP ruled state, the confidence of criminals is so high that broad day-light killings are continuously happening. The killing of 9 Gond tribesmen, including 3 women, by the land mafia in Umbha village of Sonbhadra is heart-wrenching. Administration and Chief Minister are all sleeping. Is this how the state will become crime-free?”
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, speaking on the incident and his government’s action, blamed the Congress. “The Congress governments in the past have provided protection to land mafias and the Sonbhadra incident is an example of that,” he said.
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Priyanka Gandhi Stopped On Way To Visit Families Of 10 Shot Dead In UP – NDTV News