District magistrate of Hathras says if the Congress leaders visit the village, it may disturb the law and order situation in the district
GREATER NOIDA — High drama prevailed on Thursday after Uttar Pradesh Police personnel pushed former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the ground near the Yamuna Expressway and detained him along with his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, while they were walking towards Hathras to meet the family of the rape victim, party leaders claimed.
Gandhi, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other senior leaders had left Delhi on Thursday to meet the family of the Hathras rape victim.
However, they began marching towards Hathras after their vehicle was stopped near the Yamuna Expressway.
Later Rahul Gandhi told the media, “Just now police pushed me, lathi-charged me and threw me on the ground. I want to ask, can only (Narendra) Modiji walk in this country? Can’t a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking.”
Ranvijay Singh, Additional DCP, Gautam Budh Nagar, told IANS that Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi have been detained.
Singh further said that Rahul and Priyanka won’t be allowed to proceed further as the police have a letter from DM Hathras saying that if they visit the village, it may disturb the law and order situation in the district.
Also, there is the issue of providing security cover to them.
Uttar Pradesh Police Personnel also told Gandhi that his sister and he have been taken into custody as they were marching in an area where section 144 has been imposed.
The section relates to assembly of not more than five people at one place.
Rahul Gandhi said that even if Section 144 had been imposed, he will walk alone towards Hathras to meet the family of the rape victim.
The Congress leaders claimed that the police had arrested Rahul and Priyanka and taken them to the Budh International Circuit guest house.
Before being detained, the Congress leaders had a heated exchange with police personnel and enquired about the grounds on which they were being arrested.
Rahul Gandhi, along with Priyanka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Rajiv Shukla and several other top leaders was walking towards Hathras to meet the family of the victims a day after the last rites of the rape victim were allegedly performed during the night in the absence of her family members.
In a later report, Congress leaders said that Rahul Gandhi along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi and several other senior leaders of the party were soon released from detention and they were being sent back to Delhi in police protection.
Attacking the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh over the detoriorating law and order situation, in a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, “In times of sorrow, loved ones are not left alone. In the ‘jungle raj’ of Uttar Pradesh someone’s wish to meet a grieving family also scares the government. Do not be afraid so much, Chief Minister!”
Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet, “They prevented us from going to Hathras. When we all went out on foot with Rahulji, we were repeatedly stopped, they used lathis in a barbaric manner. Many workers have been injured. But our intention is clear. The sticks of an arrogant government cannot stop us. I wish the police would have used the same lathis in defence of Hathras’ Dalit daughter.”
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the manhandling of senior party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi by UP police.
In a tweet he said, “I strongly condemn the manhandling of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi by UP police. This act is totally unacceptable.”