Sonbhadra massacre: Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday refused to leave Sonbhadra until the Uttar Pradesh Police allowed her to meet the kin of massacre victims. The Congress general secretary, who is currently in Sonbhadra, staged a sit-in at Chunar Guest House after the state police imposed Section 144 and didn’t allow her to meet the Gond tribals. She was detained in Narayanpur by the Uttar Pradesh Police. As many as 11 people of the community, including three women, lost their lives after 200 armed men under the leadership of a village head opened fire on them over a land dispute on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

Speaking to reporters, Priyanka said she was illegally detained by the UP Police en route to Sonbhadra where the heinous crime took place. Reports said she has been taken into preventive custody. Ahead of her visit to Sonbhadra, she had written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath asking that her security be reduced while travelling in the state. The Congress leader also demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of the deceased and sent UP Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu to Sonbhadra to meet the family of victims on Thursday. Meanwhile, the UP government has constituted a 3-member panel to probe into the matter and several police officials have also been suspended. The government has also announced compensation between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50,000 to the victims of families.

Rahul Gandhi termed Priyanka’s arrest illegal and disturbing. He said this arbitrary use of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP government’s increasing insecurity in UP. Meanwhile, the Kisan Congress has decided to stage protests outside BJP offices across the country after Priyanka was stopped from going to Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh.

After facing criticism over deteriorating law and order situation in the state, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath today ordered the suspension of four officials and constituted a three-member committee to investigate the matter from 1955 till now. The CM also directed the committee to submit its reports to the state government within 10 days. Speaking on Sonbhadra killing, Yogi Adityanath on Friday blamed the then Tehsildar for the land dispute. He said the foundation of this incident was laid in 1955 when the then Tehsildar did the unlawful act of registering the land of Gram Samaj in the name of Adarsh Cooperative society.

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