Sitting calmly in the police jeep, Priyanka said, “'I don't know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere.” (Photo credit: PTI)
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary, was detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police in Mirzapur today. She was on her way to Sonbhadra to meet the families of victims of the people killed in a land dispute. She was sitting on a ‘dharna’ in Narayanpur area when the police sprang into action. Sitting calmly in the police jeep, Priyanka said, “'I don't know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere.” The Yogi Adityanath government has imposed Section 144 in Sonbhadra.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Narayanpur on if she has been arrested: Yes, we still won't be cowed down. We were only going peacefully to meet victim families(of Sonbhadra firing case). I don't know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere.' pic.twitter.com/q1bwkucl0g— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 19, 2019
On Thursday, twenty-four people were arrested in connection with a land dispute in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, even as the death count in the incident rose to 10 with one more person succumbing to injuries. 18 others were injured when a village head and his supporters allegedly opened fire on a rival group, leading to the clash in Murtiya village in Ghorawal. The deceased belonged to the Gond tribe.
Superintendent of Police ST Patil said 24 persons have been arrested and attempts are on to nab others. Police have also arrested Girijesh and Vimlesh, two nephews of the village head, and are trying to trace him as well.
An FIR has been lodged against 61 people including 11 named. The matter is likely to rock proceedings of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi termed the arrest illegal and said the move reveals BJP government's growing insecurity in UP.
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. pic.twitter.com/D1rty8KJVq— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 19, 2019
Samajwadi Party legislators also held a sit-in at Chowdhury Charan Singh statue in Assembly premises ahead of the start of the Monsoon session of the state assembly.
With placards in hand, SP leaders alleged that the state government has failed to control law and order.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Director General of Police to personally monitor the case and ensure action against the culprits, a government spokesperson said.
The land in the district's Ghorawal area earlier belonged to an IAS officer and he had sold it to village head Yagya Dutt, who wanted to take its possession, Uttar Pradesh DGP O P Singh had told PTI.
When Dutt reached the spot with his henchmen in 10 to 12 tractors, local villagers tried to stop them from taking over the land, police said.
Those accompanying him then showered a hail of bullets on villagers, all tribals, killing nine of them.
Official sources said another person injured in the firing died during treatment on Wednesday night. He has been identified as Ashok Gond.
The condition of some of the 18 injured is said to be stable. Some of them with minor injuries have been discharged.