Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday castigated the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for stopping and detaining his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi from visiting Sonbhadra, where 10 people were gunned down over a land dispute. He described Priyanka Gandhi’s detention at Chunar Guesthouse as an attempt to “trample upon democracy”.
“The imprisonment of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on way to meet the families of Sonbhadra massacre victims, in Chunar guest house through the night without water and electricity by a dictatorially inclined UP government is an attempt to trample upon democracy,” Rahul Gandhi said on a Facebook post in Hindi. He further said the Congress will not get scared of such tactics and will not stop fighting for Dalits and tribals.
On Friday, Priyanka Gandhi was taken into preventive custody and stopped from meeting the families of 10 Gond tribals killed in the July 17 clash. The clash had triggered a standoff with the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. She spent the night at the guest house in Mirzapur district where she was taken after she squatted on the road with her supporters. Priyanka headed back to Delhi after meeting family members of the victims who travelled to the Mirzapur guesthouse. She said those who had “arrested” her and brought her to the Chunar guesthouse were now saying she is free to leave.
Earlier in the day, the Congress alleged that “BJP government cuts electricity/water of Chunar guest house where she is held. BJP government now wants to deport her from UP. Jungle Raj!” he said.
Robert Vadra slams Priyanka’s detention
Priyanka Gandhi’s husband and businessman Robert Vadra also took to Facebook to slam the detention. Vadra asked whether it was wrong to meet Sonbhadra firing victims.
The Congress party alleged that “jungle raj” was prevalent in the state and the government had failed to take action against the guilty.
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also tweeted responding to the detention saying that “BJP government fails to prevent Sonbhadra Massacre. BJP government fails to act against guilty.BJP government illegally arrests Priyanka Ji for wanting to meet families,”
Also read | Keep my security at minimum during my visits to UP, Priyanka Gandhi writes to CM Adityanath
Punjab CM Amarinder protests Priyanka’s detention in UP
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also voiced his protest and dubbed her detention as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. He accused the Yogi Adityanath-led government of attempting to stifle Priyanka Gandhi’s democratic right to protest against the Sonbhadra violence and said that the BJP regime in Uttar Pradesh had “stooped to a new low in curbing” the fundamental rights of citizens.
Singh urged the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately revoke its detention orders and allow Priyanka Gandhi to continue with her peaceful and democratic protest.
Citing reports suggesting that the Uttar Pradesh administration had subsequently cut the power connection at the guest house where Priyanka Gandhi was detained in Mirzapur district, Amarinder said protesting peacefully is a fundamental right under the Constitution, which the Adityanath government was trying to “erode completely through its authoritarian acts”. The Punjab CM also said no state government could be allowed to suppress the fundamental rights of any individual in the Indian democratic polity.