In July, Priyanka Gandhi, prevented from visiting Sonbhadra to speak to the families of firing victims and had sat on an agitation for a day
New Delhi: On Tuesday Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were stopped from entering Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut to meet the families of those killed in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act last week.
Around six people were killed in agitation at Meerut against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) enacted recently.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had started this morning for Meerut in an SUV, followed by security vehicles. The police reportedly told the Congress leaders that they cannot visit Meerut, a town about 60 km from Delhi, as a ban on huge gatherings is in place after the clashes. The convoy then turned back to Delhi.
“We asked the police if they have any order, they didn’t show us any order but they just said you can please go back,” Rahul Gandhi said to reporters.
The Gandhis were told they could postpone their visit and try two days later. According to Congress, they also offered to travel in a group of three people but were still not allowed to go ahead.
In a comment, the Meerut police said the Congress leaders had been told that if there was any breach of the peace as a result of their visit, they would be personally liable. “After this, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi returned back on their own,”.
On Friday, protesters in Meerut burnt vehicles and threw stones at the police, who used lathi-charge and tear gas shells to disperse the mobs. The Internet was shut down after the violence.
On Saturday, Priyanka Gandhi had made a visit to another violence-hit UP town Bijnor – where two men had died without being stopped. The Congress general secretary in charge of UP met the families of the two victims.
In July, Priyanka Gandhi, prevented from visiting Sonbhadra to speak to the families of firing victims and had sat on an agitation for a day.
Some 15 people have died in violent protests across Uttar Pradesh against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, and Christians fleeing religious persecution in Muslim-dominated nations Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh if they came to India before 2015. It is the first law that makes religion a criterion for CAA. Many critics say the law discriminates against Muslims and violates the secular principles enshrined in the constitution.
The UP police are accused of firing at agitators in many places. For the first time, the cops have accepted that they opened fire in Bijnor and that one of the two protestors who died in the town was killed in police firing.
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