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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘If you can arrest me, why not the culprits?’: Priyanka Gandhi on Lakhimpur Kheri violence

"You have the full police force out to stop us, where was this force when the Minister's son ran over the farmers? Why hasn't the Minister resigned yet?" Priyanka Gandhi asked.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 4, 2021 2:42:11 pm
Priyanka Gandhi on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri from Lucknow. (Twitter/Saral Patel)

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Monday hit out at the Uttar Pradesh Police for allegedly forcibly taking her into custody while she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight persons, including four farmers, were left dead in an incident on Sunday.

Speaking to news channel NDTV while in custody, Gandhi stated that if the government can take Opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrashekhar Azad, and Bhupesh Baghel into custody or place them under house arrest, “then why are you not arresting the culprits or placing them in custody?” “For you (BJP government), politics is important but the life of a farmer is not important,” she said.

“You have the full police force out to stop us, where was this force when the Minister’s son ran over the farmers? Why hasn’t the Minister resigned yet?” Gandhi asked.

Gandhi alleged that she had been arrested without a warrant. “My colleague was beaten and shoved. They were trying to put us inside a jeep forcibly and take us somewhere. This is kidnapping. You haven’t showed me an order or told me under which section I am being taken into custody,” she said.

“Initially, they said we are being arrested under section 144 (unlawful assembly). But we were four people, so we haven’t violated section 144. Then they stated we are arresting you under section 151 (to prevent the commission of cognizable offences),” the Congress leader added.

On being asked about Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s allegations that his son wasn’t present at the spot when the incident occurred and the farmers had attacked the convoy, Gandhi stated that “it’s a misrepresentation of facts.” “If you see the videos and speak to people on the ground, you will find that he’s wrong,” she added.

“I only want to meet the kin of the farmers and express my condolences. Why won’t the government want me to visit them? Why are they so rattled that they have the full force out to stop me? They had the same behaviour when I visited Hathras and walked to Darapuri’s house,” the Congress leader said.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farm unions, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, demanding that the minister be sacked and a murder case filed against his son. It also demanded an investigation by an SIT under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

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