New Delhi: After a full-blown drama erupted near Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday where Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was detained from visiting families of those injured in the firing incident, a number of political leaders, including a Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation, showed solidarity with the families affected.
A four-member parliamentary delegation of the TMC landed in Varanasi on Saturday to head for the trauma centre, and then Sonbhadra where the firing incident took place. The delegation was also detained at the Varanasi airport without telling them the section under which they were arrested.
Derek O’Brien, who is leading the TMC delegation said, “We have told them that we will cooperate, wish to meet injured and then proceed to Sonbhadra to meet and give confidence to grieving families.”
Congress leaders Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, Deepender Singh Hooda and Jitin Prasada also going to meet Priyanka Gandhi in Chunar, Uttar Pradesh.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and former UP CM Mayawati reacted to the incident saying, “The UP Government is not allowing anyone to go to Sonbhadra by resorting to Section 144 to hide their failure in the safety and security of a public property.”
She asserted that the Adityanath government’s negligence in the main reason that caused such a massacre.
Following the act of “lawlessness” as the Congress put it, the party released a press briefing on the illegal arrest of Priyanka Gandhi. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of turning the state into “Apradh Pradesh” (crime state) where goons rule right under the nose of the chief minister.
“There is complete lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh. Should a government like that be allowed to stay in power even for a day on ethical grounds?” he added.
“BJP government fails to prevent Sonbhadra massacre! BJP government fails to act against guilty! BJP government illegally arrests Priyankaji for wanting to meet families!…” Surjewala wrote in a Twitter post.
Reacting to his sister’s arrest, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “The illegal arrest of Priyanka in Sonbhadra, UP, is disturbing. This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP Govt’s increasing insecurity in UP.”
Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra also extended his support slamming her detention in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. In a Facebook post, Vadra said, “Is it a crime to support the poor in Uttar Pradesh now? Someone tell me what is Priyanka’s crime?”
Following her arrest, scores of Congress activists led by the party’s Delhi unit working president Haroon Yusuf burnt an effigy of Adityanath near the BJP’shead office.
Priyanka was detained and stopped at Narainpur on Varanasi-Mirzapur road on Friday on her way to the spot where the incident took place. The firing, that killed 11 people, took place in Umbha village in Sonbhadra district in a violent clash over a land dispute.