Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district stopped Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi today from meeting the families of those killed in the shooting incident on Wednesday.
Ten people, including three women, were killed and 19 injured when a village headman and his supporters opened fire on a group belonging to the Gond tribe over a land dispute.
Gandhi said they are going peacefully to meet the victims’ families. “They (police) can do whatever they want, we will not be cowed down. I don’t know where they are taking me, we are ready to go anywhere,” she said. “Just want to go and meet the families of victims. I even said I will take only four people with me. Yet, the administration is not letting us go there. They should tell us why we are being stopped. We will continue to sit here peacefully,” the young leader said.
On Wednesday, Gandhi had tweeted that the confidence of criminals in BJP-ruled UP is so high that people are being killed in broad day-light. “The killing of nine Gond tribesmen, including three women, by the land mafia in Umbha village of Sonbhadra has rattled me. The administration and chief minister are all sleeping,” she said.
Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi said Priyanka had been arrested illegally in Sonbhadra. “This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP Government’s increasing insecurity in UP,” Gandhi tweeted.
OP Singh, the Uttar Pradesh director general of police, had said on Wednesday that the disputed land had once belonged to an IAS officer who had sold it to a village head two years ago.