Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi talking to reporters at the Guest House on Friday. Photo/ANI
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi talking to reporters at the Guest House on Friday. Photo/ANI

Massacre has taken place in Sonbhadra, won't return without meeting kin of victims: Priyanka

ANI | Updated: Jul 19, 2019 22:29 IST

Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], July 19 (ANI): Congress' eastern Uttar Pradesh general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday said that she would not return without meeting the kin of those who were killed in Sonbhadra on July 17.
"I won't go without meeting the kin of victims. Half an hour ago, DM and SP of Mirzapur came and told me to go to Varanasi as there is no AC here. I told them I won't go anywhere. I don't need any AC or electricity," she said, while talking to reporters here. The guest house where she has been put was facing power outage.
Terming firing in Sonbhadra as painful, she said: "Land is everything for a tribal. It is his life. Not only their land but 10 people have been killed. Six people are in the hospital. I have already said that a 17-year old child who has been hit by a bullet is in hospital. A massacre has taken place there. This is clear. I have come here to meet those families. It is not a crime. It is the duty of a leader to meet the victims."
The Congress leader also demanded land ownership right and Rs 25 lakh compensation for kin of each victim. "They (kin of victims) should get the ownership rights, Rs 25 lakh compensation and a lawyer to fight their case," she said.
"I came here this morning. I said it in the morning as well that if Section 144 is there in force at Sonbhadra, I won't violate it. I will go with you (administration officials). Two people will come. Please take me to them (kin of victims). I just want to meet them anyway. Even then, they brought me here. I have been kept here for the last seven hours. First, they did not tell me why this was done," she added.
Reacting to the allegations that the incident is due to the works of the Congress party, Priyanka said: "Whose government is this? BJP, Yogi's government or Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's government? This is the responsibility of the Chief Minister."
"You are seeing it. Murders are taking place. This is the Chief Minister's responsibility. Till the time, he doesn't realise that, change won't happen. And till the time change won't happen, we will continue with our struggle," she said.
In reply to a question that the administration should have made arrangements for her stay at the guest house, she said: "There is no need to make arrangements for me. I am fine. Only if they could have made these arrangements in that village -- villagers complained even a day before the incident took place. Even when the incident was taking place, then too they did not come."
Reacting to the claims of the government about robust law and order situation in the state, Priyanka said: "They should come out of their homes. They should see and read the news. Which world they are living in?"
Meanwhile, the Congress party workers, who were there with her in Chunnar, alleged that the district administration was doing this to force her to leave the place.
They were also heard shouting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Yogi-Yogi Hai Hai, Modi-Modi Hai Hai, Yogi Sarkar Hosh Me Aao, Hatyari Sarkar Hosh Me Aao -- were some of the slogans shouted by Congress workers. They also shouted - Jo Sarkar Nikammi Hai, Wo Sarkar Badalni Hai."
"The district administration wants to trouble the Congress workers and force Priyanka Gandhi to go from here. But, no matter how much they trouble us, we are going to be here," said Shiv Kumar Singh Patel, a Congress worker.
"We are going to spend the night in the light of a candle. Congress workers in the entire country are protesting against the way Priyanka ji is being treated," added Patel.
Another Congress leader Gulab Chand Pandey said: "The government thinks if there is darkness, people will go from here. We will not run away. We will not leave our leader. We will be here with Priyanka ji. Such a big incident took place and opposition leader is not being allowed to go there. Is this not the murder of democracy?"
As the guest house faced power cuts, Priyanka was seen interacting with the people and clicking selfies with them.
Earlier in the day, Priyanka was detained and taken to Mirzapur by the state administration while she was on her way to meet kin of those killed on July 17 Sonbhadra firing, in which nine people were killed.
Talking to reporters here, she said: "When the administration tells me why and on what basis I have been arrested, then I will decide about what I have to do next."
Reacting to a tweet of a senior police officer that no arrest has been made, she said: "No arrest? So, should I go then?"
"I was brought here in the SDM's vehicle. You all were there. I have been told that I should stay here in Chunnar and not go out. If it is not the arrest, then what is it," she asked.
Priyanka's husband Robert Vadra also put up a tweet supporting her.
"The way my wife and Congress leader Priyanka has been arrested is completely unconstitutional. No documents were produced for the arrest...This is a complete abuse of law in every respect," he said in a tweet on Friday evening.
"It is a crime to visit the family of the deceased? Does this government want to suppress every voice that sides the truth? The state government should immediately release her and let democracy be a democracy and not a dictatorship," he added. (ANI)

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