New Delhi: The ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 took a new turn on Saturday as Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi complained of UP police’s highhandedness as she was stopped when she was on her way to meet the family members of former IPS officer SR Darapuri. 76-year-old Darapuri is a cancer patient who was taken into custody on charges of rioting. Priyanka Gandhi said she was grabbed by the neck, pushed and stopped. Then she decided to walk and take a scooter ride to reach her destination.

What Priyanka Gandhi Said:

Mujhe roka gaya, mujhe gala daba kar police wale ne roka. Mujhe pakad kar dhakela gaya. Iske baad main gir gaie thi. Iske baad main ek karyakarta ke scooter par baith kar gaie. Mujhe lady police adhikaari ne roka tha (I was stopped. Police stopped holding my neck. I was pushed and I fell down. Then I took a ride on a scooter of a party member. I was stopped by lady police officers),” she said.

“There is no point of stopping us on road. It’s not an issue of SPG but of Uttar Pradesh Police,” she added.

What the UP Police said:

According to the written report submitted by the in-charge, Archana Singh, Priyanka’s fleet started from Mall Avenue to Gokhale Marg. But from 1090 crossing, Priyanka Gandhi’s car took a different route towards Lohia Road. At that time, she was stopped as the police had no prior information on where she was going. She was stopped because of security reasons. Her party members refused to give the details. Then she got down from the car and started walking. Meanwhile, the rumours doing the rounds on social media that she was heckled are baseless. “I discharged my duty properly,” Archana Singh wrote.

UP government spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi issued a statement later, saying “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is trying to make the woman police official a scapegoat for her politics. The woman police official discharged her duty today despite the death of one of her family members. She is deeply hurt by these false allegations.”

Situation in Uttar Pradesh

As many as 1,113 people have been arrested from places across the state in connection with the agitation. They have also identified 498 people — with as many as 148 from Meerut alone — who will be asked to pay up for damage to public property. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath defended police action and said that the crackdown has shocked every rioter into silence.

“Every rioter is shocked. Every troublemaker is shocked. Everybody has fallen silent after seeing the strictness of the Yogi Adityanath government. The Chief Minister has announced that anybody who damages public property will have to pay up. Every violent protester will cry now because there is a Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh,” he tweeted.