UP Police Held My Throat and Manhandled Me: Priyanka Gandhi

The Congress general secretary was on her way to visit the house of former IPS officer, S.R. Darapuri, who had been arrested on December 19.

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has claimed that a policewoman held her throat and that she was manhandled when she attempted to visit the house of former IPS officer, S.R. Darapuri, who was among the thousands arrested on December 19 for their alleged part in violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

As per media reports, there was high drama at Lucknow’s 1090 crossing on Saturday evening where police first stopped her car. When she was not allowed to go on, she walked and also rode pillion on the scooter of a party worker.

“I got off the vehicle and started walking. I was surrounded and a woman cop held me by my throat. Another woman cop pushed me and I fell down. 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 said.

According to Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh, Vadra’s vehicle was blocked by a deputy superintendent of police rank women officer. Upon being stopped, Vadra began walking for a kilometre and then again boarded a vehicle.

When she was stopped again, Vadra got out and walked again for three-four kilometres.

Also read: Ground Report: Bijnor Hindu Gunshot Victim’s Account Contradicts ‘Communal’ Angle Pushed by UP Police

On her Facebook page, she posted two videos of her walking down the road, accompanied by workers.

“The BJP government is working in a cowardly manner. I am the in-charge of (eastern) Uttar Pradesh Congress and the government is not going to decide where will I go in the state,” she wrote in a post.

Gomti Nagar police station’s circle officer Santosh Singh said Priyanka Gandhi’s convoy was stopped because it was not following the pre-scheduled route. “When enquired, they refused to reveal where they were headed and so, as per protocol, their vehicle was stopped,” Singh said.

Last week, the Meerut Police had stopped Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi from meeting families of CAA-NRC protestors who had died in the violence and police crackdown.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Darapuri’s wife who had taken ill, she said, “I was going in a peaceful manner, how was the law-and-order scenario going to deteriorate? 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”.

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

Also read: No Legal Backing for UP Govt’s Action Against Property of ‘Rioters’: Lawyers

Later, SSP Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithini issued a statement that the area in-charge Archana Singh had presented a report to additional superintendent saying that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s car was not moving in the scheduled route rather a different route.

“Singh has also written that whatever rumours are doing rounds on social media of heckling and strangulating Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are wrong,” said Naithini.

Congress’ national spokesperson Sushmita Dev called for the dismissal of the government of Yogi Adityanath. “We condemn the physical violence on protesters and manhandling of Priyanka Gandhi Ji. This government should be dismissed and there should be President’s rule in the state,” she said.

(With inputs from PTI)