Bangladesh

Priyanka refuses to leave without visiting Sonbhadra

Indian Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was detained and stopped from going to meet the victims of a land dispute in Sonbhadra district, today refused to be persuaded by the local administration to return without meeting them. 

In a series of late night tweets, she said she is ready to go to jail if she is not allowed to go ahead.

The second round of talks held between the Congress leaders and the local administration late on Friday night and wee hours of Saturday failed and Priyanka spent the night in the guest house at Chunar in Mirzapur district along with her supporters, Our New Delhi correspondent reports quoting Congress party sources.

Priyanka tweeted that Uttar Pradesh government sent Additional Director General of Police Brij Bhushan, Commissioner Varanasi Deepak Agarwal and DIG to tell her to return without meeting the victims of last Wednesday’s clash between two rival groups over a land dispute that left ten persons dead.

"I have clearly stated that I have come here not to violate any law but to meet the victims," Priyanka said. 

In a separate tweet, she said her lawyers have told her that her detention is totally illegal.

"They (officials) are sitting with me for around one hour. They did not tell me the ground of detention nor showed any papers," she said.

The Congress General Secretary also shared a video of aggrieved Sonbhadra families who were seen mourning the death of their near ones. "Is it a crime to wipe these tears?" she said in a tweet. 

Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was with Priyanka, alleged to the media  that water and power connections to the guest house were cut in the night to force the Congressmen to return but they stayed put there insisting on permission to meet the victims. 

Expressing solidarity with Priyanka, Congressmen in Lucknow spent the night at the GPO Park in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

On Friday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra where 10 people were gunned down this week, triggering a standoff with the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.

The administration detained her under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (which allows police to arrest a person without warrant to prevent committing of an offence)  citing prohibitory orders and took her to the guest house since she insisted on going to Sonbhadra.

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