Priyanka Gandhi stopped from going to Sonbhadra to meet clash victims

Priyanka Gandhi demanded that they be shown the order under which she was stopped

priyanka-gandhi-ap (File) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of Congress party President Rahul Gandhi, waves to party supporters during an election campaign rally in Rae Barelli in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh | AP

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was Friday stopped from proceeding towards Sonbhadra district to meet those injured in a clash that claimed 10 lives and taken to a guesthouse by authorities after she staged a sit-in.

The Congress general secretary (Uttar Pradesh East) and her party workers demanded that they be shown the order under which she was stopped.

Priyanka Gandhi and other members of the Congress were stopped at Narainpur in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district while they were on their way to Sonbhadra, and they sat on a dharna, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Piyush Kumar Srivastava said.

"They were pacified after sometime and taken to the Chunar guest house," a senior police official said.

However, the Congress claimed that Priyanka Gandhi had been taken into police custody.

29 people arrested
Eighteen people were injured in the clash that took place between supporters of a village head and Gond tribals over a piece of land in Sonbhadra's Ghorawal area on Wednesday.

Village head Yagya Dutt's supporters had allegedly opened fire on the tribals and till now, 29 people, including him, have been arrested.

Some of the injured were admitted to the BHU Trauma Centre in Varanasi, while some are undergoing treatment at a health facility in Sonbhadra.

Priyanka Gandhi left for Sonbhadra after meeting those admitted at Varanasi, but was stopped on the way. She was also scheduled to meet family members of the victims.

"I want to peacefully meet the family members of the victims who had fallen to the bullets in the clash. I want to see the orders under which I have been stopped to meet them," Priyanka Gandhi said while sitting on the dharna.

"I can move ahead only with four people. I want to meet the victims ," she stressed.

"I only want to meet the affected families, whose members have been mercilessly shot dead. A boy of my son's age was shot at and is lying in hospital.Tell me on what legal basis I am stopped here," Priyanka Gandhi said.

Senior Congress leader and MLA Ajay Rai said Priyanka Gandhi, who was stopped on the Varanasi-Mirzapur border while on her way to Sonbhadra, has been taken into "police custody along with other Congress leaders and workers."

At the BHU Trauma Centre, she enquired about the health of those injured and also assured them and their family of all possible support from the Congress.

Rai along with district unit chief Prajanath Sharma and party workers accompanied Gandhi during her visit to the trauma centre.

A team led by Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu had visited Sonbhadra on Thursday and had sent its report to Priyanka Gandhi.

On Wednesday, the Congress leader had criticised the state government over the law and order situation.

"In the BJP ruled state, the confidence of criminals is so high that broad day-light killings are continuously happening. The killing of 9 gond tribesman,including 3 women, by the land mafia in Umbha village of Sonbhadra is heart wrenching.

"The Administration and Chief Minister are all sleeping .Is this how the state will be crime-free?" she had tweeted.

Promising justice to those killed in the Sonbhadra clash, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth Friday said the sub divisional magistrate and four other officials were suspended and 29 people arrested.

A committee under the additional chief secretary (Revenue) has also been constituted and will give its report within 10 days, the chief minister said.