The Congress claimed the UP government – which earlier prevented Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from visiting the families of farmers killed in Lakhimpur – was again stopping her
New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been detained by police in Uttar Pradesh after she was stopped from travelling to Agra to meet the family of a man who died in police custody.
Her car had been stopped at the first toll plaza on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.
The Congress has claimed the UP government – which earlier this month detained Ms Gandhi Vadra to stop her from visiting the families of farmers killed in the Lakhimpur incident – is now trying to prevent her from talking to the family of an Arun Valmiki, who was accused of stealing ₹ 25 lakh.
After she was stopped Ms Gandhi Vadra tweeted, asking “what is the government so afraid of?”
“Arun Valmiki died in police custody. His family is seeking justice. I want to visit that family. What is the UP government afraid of? Why am I being stopped? Today is Lord Valmiki Jayanti… PM Modi spoke big on Buddha but this is attacking his message,” she tweeted in Hindi.
अरुण वाल्मीकि की मृत्यु पुलिस हिरासत में हुई। उनका परिवार न्याय मांग रहा है। मैं परिवार से मिलने जाना चाहती हूं। उप्र सरकार को डर किस बात का है? क्यों मुझे रोका जा रहा है।
आज भगवान वाल्मीकि जयंती है, पीएम ने महात्मा बुद्ध पर बड़ी बातें की, लेकिन उनके संदेशों पर हमला कर रहे हैं।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) October 20, 2021
UP Police have said Ms Gandhi Vadra was stopped as she did not have the requisite permissions.
Chaotic visuals from the scene showed Ms Gandhi Vadra surrounded by a sea of people, including policemen, as she tried to make her way past the blockade. Another visual showed a burly UP cop standing in front of her vehicle, with both hands placed firmly on the hood.
Yet another shows more cops in front of the car and apparently persuading her to return.
In a video of the conversation between the Congress leader and the police, she can be heard asking: “Wherever I go… I have to ask for permission?”, to which the officer says it is a “law and order issue”.
“What is the issue? Someone has died… what is the law and order issue, tell me…” she replies.
There were also some more pleasant visuals with Ms Gandhi Vadra posing for selfies with a few women police officers – all as party workers can be heard chanting and shouting in the background.
Earlier today UP Police said Arun Valmiki died after his health deteriorated during interrogation.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Agra Muniraj G said he fell sick Tuesday night while a raid was being carried out at his house. He was then taken to a hospital but doctors declared him dead, he said.
Arun was accused of stealing the money on Saturday night from a building that served as the police station’s evidence locker, and where he worked as a cleaner.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained by UP cops earlier this month while on her way to visit the families of farmers killed in Lakhimpur. She had alleged she was being illegally held. UP police said the case against Ms Gandhi Vadra related to preventive detention due to apprehension of breach of peace.
Her brother, party MP Rahul Gandhi, was also stopped from visiting the families.
Eventually the UP government relented and allowed opposition parties, including Ms Gandhi Vadra and Mr Gandhi to visit the families.