The police in Sitapur district on Tuesday arrested Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra more than a day after she had been detained while attempting to travel to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet kin of victims of Sunday’s violence.
Priyanka Gandhi was arrested after an FIR was filed under various sections of the IPC, including Sections 144, 151 (joining an unlawful assembly) and 116 (abetment of offence that is punishable with imprisonment).
ANI reported the FIR, filed by Hargaon Police Station in Sitapur, named 11 people, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Deepinder Hooda and Congress leader Ajay Kumar Lallu.
“Total 11 persons have been arrested by us. On Monday around 4.30 am, Priyanka ji was stopped while on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri. We told her that you should not go there as the situation is not fine and section 144 CrPC is in effect. She did not listen to us and in proper security presence, we had to take her to a local guest house,” Indian Express quoted Hargaon station house officer (SHO) Brijesh Kumar Tripathi as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, Priyanka told NDTV that she had been “verbally arrested”. “I am in custody completely illegally; even my arrest, which was a verbal arrest, is illegal considering I have been here more than 24 hours. I have not been served [notice] or brought before a magistrate in this period,” Priyanka told NDTV.
Alleging the suppression of dissent, Priyanka told NDTV, “My view is that this country is a democracy and the right to protest is a fundamental right of every citizen of this country. In our country today, under the BJP government, this right is being destroyed.”
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel sat on a dharna in Lucknow Airport after he was prevented from leaving the premises. Baghel had tweeted he was travelling to Lucknow to support farmers. Baghel shared a video of him arguing with security personnel, asking them why he was being prevented from leaving if he was not travelling to Lakhimpur Kheri. Baghel said, “I came to Lucknow to proceed to meet Priyanka Gandhi ji at Sitapur. But I am not being allowed to leave the airport,” ANI reported.
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