In UP, Rahul braves police curbs; Cong calls for protests against ‘manhandling’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 01, 2020 Published on October 01, 2020

The Opposition condemned the Uttar Pradesh government for the arrest and manhandling of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. He was on his way to visit the family members of the Dalit woman who was raped and murdered near Hathras. His sister and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also arrested along with senior leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala, Jitin Prasada and others.

The Congress has called for nationwide protests against their arrest. Other Opposition parties have also criticised the State government and sought the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Gandhis were kept at a guest house near the Buddha Circuit House near the Yamuna Expressway for some time before being released.

“I want to go alone to Hathras and on what basis can you arrest me,” he added. “In today’s India, only Modi can walk or travel by air. No one else can,” Gandhi said.

Scuffle with police

The Congress released visuals in which Gandhi could be seen falling after a brief scuffle with the cops. The Congress alleged that the police used batons against the party workers who were marching to Hathras when they were blocked at the Yamuna expressway.

“In times of sorrow, loved ones are not left alone. It is Jungle Raj in UP that meeting a family in mourning also scares the government. Do not be so afraid chief minister,” he said in Twitter.

Priyanka Gandhi said: “When we all started our march on foot with Rahul-ji, we were repeatedly stopped and lathi (blows) rained on us in a barbaric manner. Many workers were injured. But our intention is clear. The sticks of an egotistical government cannot stop us. I wish these lathis were used by this police while standing in defence of Hathras’s Dalit daughter,” she said.

Surjewala said the Congress cannot be cowed down using lathis. “Lala Lajpat Rai had said that every blow of a stick on my body would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the British Raj. The sticks on Rahul-ji and Priyanka-ji’s convoy will also prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the Yogi government,” Surjewala said.

Opposition parties such as the BSP, DMK and the Left parties condemned the police action. BSP supremo Mayawati asked the BJP to replace Adityanath.

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Published on October 01, 2020
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