In the backdrop of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being kept under detention at the Chunar guest house in Mirzapur, the grand old party on Saturday (July 20) has announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh each to the kin of the victims of the Sonbhadra tragedy.
Earlier in the day, 12 family members of the victims met Priyanka at the guest house, where she spent the night after being detained by the police on Friday, senior party leader Ajay Rai said. This brought an end to the standoff between Priyanka and the Uttar Pradesh government, and a Congress leader said that she was returning back to Varanasi.
Meanwhile, the police also detained a four-member Parliamentary delegation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) led by MP Derek O’Brien at Varanasi airport on Saturday while it was on its way to meet the victims.
On Friday (July 19), Priyanka was detained for launching a dharna after being stopped from visiting Sonbhadra, where 10 people were killed and another 18 injured in a land dispute incident. Section 144 is in place in the region since the incident.
She had echoed a firm stand on meeting the families of the victims and said she was ready to go to jail if she was not allowed to go ahead. “I’m here now to meet the Sonbhadra victims and I will not leave this place until action is taken against the culprits,” she had said.
क्या इन आँसुओं को पोंछना अपराध है? pic.twitter.com/HdPAEkGJGj
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 20, 2019
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too accused the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of being “dictatorially inclined” and said Priyanka’s “imprisonment” at Chunar guesthouse is an attempt to trample upon democracy.
“The imprisonment of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on way to meet the families of Sonbhadra massacre victims, in Chunar guest house through the night without water and electricity by a dictatorially inclined UP government is an attempt to trample upon democracy,” Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi. The Congress will not get scared of such tactics and stop fighting for Dalits and tribals, he said.
Meanwhile, the detained TMC MPs launched a dharna at the airport. The party said that the DM had informed the MPs that they will be escorted to the BHU trauma centre to meet the doctors who are attending the injured victims.
Earlier in the day, in a video message shared on the party’s official Twitter handle, Derek O’Brien said that they were detained right after they landed at the Varanasi airport. The SP and the ADM were present at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport, he said.
“Trinamool Parliamentary delegation detained at Varanasi airport. ADM and SP have not told us under which section. We have told them that we will cooperate, wish to meet injured and then proceed to Sonbhadra to meet and give confidence to grieving families,” the lawmaker said in the video.