Even after being under detention, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday managed to meet family members of those killed in a shootout in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra as the victims’ relatives came over to the Chunar guest house where she was detained.
An adamant Priyanka was on a “dharna” since Friday and had refused to leave without meeting the families of the victims. She even said that she was “fully prepared” to go to jail.
“It has been 24 hours. I am not going to leave until and unless I am allowed to meet the victims of Sonbhadra’s firing case,” she had earlier told the reporters.
After meeting the relatives of the Sonbhadra victims, Priyanka Gandhi said that her “objective has been served”, and announced that the Congress party will give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the dead.
Finally met the families of the Ubbha massacre. What they have been through is unimaginably brutal and unjust. Every single Indian should stand with them in the name of humanity. pic.twitter.com/232oJITUjj
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 20, 2019
Following the meeting, a UP official said that the Congress leader was “free to go anywhere” but the site of the shootout in Sonbhadra, where 10 people were killed over a land dispute earlier this week.
Blaming the UP government over the incident, Priyanka said: “The responsibility for the Sonbhadra massacre is with the Yogi government and not with Nehru”.
She further made five demands to the state government – Rs 25 lakh compensation for the affected families, fast track court for trial in Sonbhadra case, land titles for the tribals, security for the affected families and withdrawal of case against the villagers in the last few years over a land dispute.
Priyanka also tweeted a video of her meeting with the affected families.
“Finally met the families of the Ubbha massacre. What they have been through is unimaginably brutal and unjust. Every single Indian should stand with them in the name of humanity,” she said in the tweet.
Priyanka Gandhi will be visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi to offer prayers later in the day.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot issued a call for protest in Jaipur against the detention of Priyanka Gandhi.
“Against the detention of General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, state Congress committee will be organising a protest at Gandhi Circle Jaipur today,” Pilot tweeted.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also issued an appeal to all party workers from Uttar Pradesh to reach the Chunar guest house in Mirzapur where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is housed since her detention.
Digvijaya Singh tweeted, “I appeal to all Congress people to reach Chunar immediately for supporting Priyankaji. Long live Priyanka.”
Earlier in the day, a three-member parliamentary delegation of the Trinamool Congress headed by party leader Derek O’ Brien, was stopped by Varanasi police at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur ahead of their visit to BHU Trauma Centre to meet the injured in the Sonbhadra violence. Following their visit to the hospital, they were expected to go to Sonbhadra, where caste violence had erupted on Wednesday.
Also, Congress leaders Deepender Singh Hooda, Mukul Wasnik, Raj Babbar, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, Jitin Prasada and Rajeev Shukla were stopped at Varanasi airport by the police. They were also on their way to Sonbhadra to meet the victims of firing case.
Earlier on Friday, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was detained in Mirzapur and taken to Chunar guest house.
Late on Friday, some government officials had arrived at the Chunar guest house to ask the Congress leader to return to Delhi. However, she remained adamant.
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 district on Wednesday.
A total of 29 people including the village chief have been arrested till now in the case. A case has been registered against 78 people.