She was on her way to Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district to visit the families of four farmers who had died when violence broke out
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi sat on a hunger strike on Monday after she was detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police in Hargaon town, PTI reported. Priyanka has been taken to a guest house in Sitapur district, according to India Today.
She was on her way to Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district to visit the families of four farmers who had died when violence broke out during a farmers’ protest against the Centre’s contentious agriculture laws on Sunday.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the district on Sunday. Farmer unions have said that the four were killed when a car belonging to Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son ran over them.
Before her detention, Priyanka was barred from leaving Lucknow and placed under a house arrest. However, the Congress leader started walking from Lucknow and later got into her car, reported India Today.
Priyanka asked the police to show a warrant. “I am not committing a crime by stepping out of the house,” she said. “I just want to meet the affected families and share their grief. What wrong am I committing? And if I have done something wrong, then you [UP Police] should have an order, a warrant. You [UP Police] are stopping me, my car, but for what reason?”
Priyanka alleged that she was pushed and roughed up while being arrested, NDTV reported. She also claimed that the police did not show her any papers relating to her arrest.
“If they do not give me any papers, then I will call it kidnapping,” she remarked.
She told the channel that the police arrested her under Section 151 (of the Code of Criminal Procedure) on the grounds that she was “going to commit a crime in future”.
“If they don’t charge me in 24 hours under Section 151, I can walk free,” Priyanka added. “I don’t have access to lawyers though I am told I have the right.”
Priyanka also questioned why Ashish Mishra, Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son, was not arrested although he was accused of running over protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri.
About Sunday’s violence, Priyanka accused the government of doing politics. “The way the farmers are being trampled in this country, I have no words,” said the Lucknow Congress general secretary. “For months, the farmers have been trying to raise their voice, but the government is not ready to listen. Today’s incident shows that this government is playing politics of trampling the farmers. And this country is farmers’ country.”