New Delhi: A Congress leader has claimed that the families of the Sonbhadra caste carnage victims in Uttar Pradesh walked 70 kilometres to meet Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, at Chunar guest house , where she was detained since Friday. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi In Italy, Misses Congress Foundation Day Amid BJP Taunt; Sonia Gandhi Skips Event Too
“The villagers became sad after they heard about Priyanka Gandhi’s detention. They decided to meet her at the guest house and left their village on Friday evening,”Laliteshpati Tripathi, Congress MLA, told a news agency. Also Read - Farmers Won't End Protest Until Laws Are Repealed, Says Rahul Gandhi After Meeting President Kovind
They walked for over four hours and then took a tractor to reach the guest house on Saturday morning, he added. Also Read - Congress Will Soon Start Procedure To Elect New Party President, Says Randeep Surjewala
Speaking to reporters, a member of the victims’ families said, “We were shocked to know of Priyanka Gandhi’s detention. As she had travelled almost 1,000 km from Delhi to meet us, we decided to go to the Chunar guest house.”
Vikas Shakya, an advocate fighting against land grabbing in Sonebhadra, said, “The outsiders’ entry to the village was banned by the district administration.” On their way to the guest house, the members of victims’ families, mostly women and few children, kept on crying, he said.
They had an hour-long meeting with the Congress leader where Priyanka Gandhi consoled the women members of the victims’ families.
Earlier on Friday, after meeting victims’ kin Priyanka left for Delhi. “I am leaving because my purpose of meeting the victims’ families has been fulfilled. But I will return soon. I had come here on the instructions of brother Rahul Gandhi,” the Congress leader told reporters after meeting the grieving families.
She said that Congress will provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the deceased person’s families.
She also put five demands before the Uttar Pradesh government: Rs 25 lakh compensation for each of the victims’ families; fast-track trial in the Sonebhadra case; land titles for the tribals; security for the affected families; withdrawal of land dispute cases against the villagers.
At least 10 people, including three women, died and over 24 were injured in a clash between Gond and Gujjar communities over a land dispute in Sonbhadra on Wednesday. The police have arrested 29 people, including the kingpin Yogesh Dutt, in connection with the violence in Sonbhadra. A case has been filed against 78 people.