Detained on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, Priyanka Gandhi offers ‘shramdaan’
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was taken into custody on Monday morning along with party lawmaker Deependra Singh Hooda and others as she was on her way to Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district to visit the families of those who were killed during Sunday’s violence, according to officials. After an altercation with the police, Priyanka Gandhi was detained and taken into custody near Hargaon on the Sitapur-Lakhimpur border. President on the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit, Ajay Kumar Lallu, said Priyanka Gandhi, Hooda, MLC Deepak Singh were brought to a PAC training camp in Sitapur.
“A picture of struggle. Mrs Priyanka Gandhi has been kept in custody at this guesthouse in Sitapur,” the Congress party’s media arm tweeted along with a video of the leader. Priyanka Gandhi was seen sweeping the floor of the room in the guesthouse in the 42-second clip. According to a Congress spokesperson, Priyanka has said she won't go back without meeting the victims’ families and farmers. A large number of Congress workers were seen assembling outside the place of detention in her support.
Ajay Kumar Lallu said earlier that the police misbehaved with and pushed Priyanka Gandhi “unnecessarily”. Priyanka Gandhi was also seen questioning the police for stopping her without any order for detention or arrest and accused the police officers of misbehaving with her. She said the police treatment amounted to kidnapping and molestation.
“Are you going to kidnap me. Is it your legal status? Don’t think, I don’t understand this? Arrest me if you want. I will readily go with you,” she was heard saying in one of the videos tweeted by the party. “You are trying to forcibly push me. This is physical assault, attempt to kidnap, attempt to molest, attempt to harm. You dare not touch me. Get an arrest warrant from your officers and ministers,” she said.
Priyanka, who landed at Lucknow airport on Sunday night, was initially stopped at her residence and as she tried to leave for Lakhimpur Kheri. Later, a large posse of police was deployed outside and a brief altercation ensued. She came out of the house and soon left for Lakhimpur Kheri.
Several opposition leaders, including Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, are scheduled to visit Lakhimpur Kheri. The Uttar Pradesh government has urged Lucknow airport authorities not to allow Bhupesh Baghel to land. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav were detained in Lucknow.
As many as eight people, including four farmers and four others, died in the Lakhimpur Kheri during violence after a farmers protest on Sunday.