Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi kept UP police on their toes during the day and on tenterhooks at night on Wednesday, as a three-hour high drama marked his preventive custody and release in Greater Noida.
When taken into custody, Gandhi challenged the police. “Why have I been arrested? Show me the papers,” he said.
Adding to the drama, a man armed with a country-made pistol was detained after he was seen standing near Gandhi as he was being taken to the Kasna police station. A police source said the man was the gunman of a Haryana politician.
The police tug-of-war with Gandhi began at 9.30pm when he was taking rest at Parsual in the house of a villager, Vedpal.
Meerut inspector general of police (IGP) Rajnikant Mishra rushed to the spot and said there was threat to Gandhi if he stayed in the village. The IGP said prohibitory orders, which had been lifted during the day, were once again in force and Gandhi was being taken into custody for violating them. He added that Gandhi would be produced before a magistrate.
However, Gandhi was taken to Kasna police station in Greater Noida at 11.30 pm.
Gandhi emerged from the police station at 1.40am. Gandhi did not sign any bail bond, said leaders accompanying him.
At 2am, Gandhi’s cavalcade left Kasna and the UP police escorted him back to Delhi through the DND Flyway. The local administration heaved a sigh of relief .
Gandhi had slipped into the Bhatta-Parsaul villages before daybreak riding pillion on a motorcycle.