They grabbed me by my neck: Priyanka alleges manhandling by UP cops

Priyanka Gandhi
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra comes out of the residence of ex-IPS officer SR Darapuri in Lucknow | PTI File

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday (December 28) alleged she was grabbed by her neck and pushed by the Uttar Pradesh police when she resisted their attempts to stop her from visiting the residence of SR Darapuri, a retired IPS officer who was arrested during the recent protests against the new Citizenship law.

“A woman cop held me by my throat and another pushed me and I fell down,” she said while narrating the sequence of events. “They do not have the right to stop me. If they want to arrest me, they should do so,” she told reporters after meeting the family members of Darapuri.

Gandhi said a police vehicle stopped her cavalcade in the middle of the road and was told she couldn’t go further. “I asked them ‘why’. I was told that we will not be allowed to move ahead.” After being stopped, she hitched a ride on a party worker’s two-wheeler to reach the residence of the retired IPS officer.

Advertisement

“I got off the vehicle and started walking. I was surrounded and a woman cop held me by my throat. I was forcibly stopped and a woman officer pulled me up by my neck. But I was determined. I am standing with every citizen who has faced police oppression. This is my satyagraha,” she narrated.

However, the police denied the allegations. Archana Singh, circle officer, Modern Control Room Lucknow, who was deployed in security duty, said the allegations of manhandling the Congress leader and grabbing her by neck are “false”.

Priyanka told reporters the police action led to traffic snarls. “There is no reason to do so. God knows, ask them why have they stopped (us). What is the reason for stopping us, that too in the middle of the city? This is not an issue of the SPG, but of the Uttar Pradesh police. There is no point stopping us. Will you stop (anyone) in the middle of a crossing?,” she asked a police official.

Gandhi also attacked the Yogi Adityanath government in the state, saying it was working in a “cowardly manner”. “I am the in-charge of eastern UP Congress and the government is not going to decide where will I go in the state.” She also aired her views in a Facebook post.

“I was going in a peaceful manner, how was the law and order scenario going to get deteriorated? I did not tell anyone about this (visit) so that not more than three persons accompany me. They do not have the right to stop me. If they want to arrest me, they should do so,” she told reporters.

Also read | Complaint filed against 1,000 AMU students for anti-CAA violence

To a question on whether the government felt its politics was in danger because of her, she said, “Everybody’s politics is in danger.”

After being stopped, she hitched a ride on a party worker’s two-wheeler to reach the residence of the retired IPS officer | Photo: ANI Twitter.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said, “If we want to meet someone and share his sorrows, why is it causing a stomach ache for the government? This government is feeling scared of Priyanka ji. Hence, she was stopped.”

Earlier in the day, addressing party leaders and workers during a programme held here to mark the 135th Foundation Day of the party, she virtually equated the BJP government with the British.

“Today in the country, there are such powers in the government with whom we had a historical clash. We are at present fighting an ideology against which we fought during the freedom struggle,” she said at the UP Congress headquarters. “Today the country is in trouble. If we do not raise our voices, we will be proved to be cowards.”

(With inputs from agencies)

CATCH US ON: