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National Politics

“Bhagwa doesn’t belong to only Yogi but to India’s religious and spiritual spirit,” says Priyanka Gandhi

While addressing reporters in Delhi, Gandhi dismissed concerns about her own safety and said India was “no place for enmity, violence, and revenge”

New Delhi: The Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took a jibe at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the UP police force on Monday, alleging the two were “complicit in wrongdoings” in the brutal crackdown against people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act. She also accused the police of “working to ensure Yogi’s badla“, referring to a shocking statement by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who said his government would take revenge on anti- CAA agitators. Priyanka’s statement comes two days after she accused Lucknow police of manhandling her and she said they “grabbed me by the neck”, while en route to visit a retired IPS officer arrested for opposing the CAA.

While addressing reporters in Delhi, Gandhi dismissed concerns about her own safety and said India was “no place for enmity, violence, and revenge”.

“My safety isn’t a big issue and that doesn’t deserve security. We are talking about the safety of citizens. The cases we know of suggest more than 5,500 have been arrested. Many have been jailed in a discreet manner… they are being thrashed. Police and administration are complicit in wrongdoing,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

“Yogi-Ji wears ‘bhagwa‘ (saffron). It is not his saffron that belongs to this India’s religious and spiritual spirit. It is a symbol of the Hindu religion. He should follow that religion. There is no place for enmity, revenge, and violence in that religion,” Priyanka added.

There have been huge protests, some of which turned violent, across Uttar Pradesh against the CAA, the first-ever law to make faith a criterion for citizenship. More than 20 people have died, many from bullet injuries UP police had initially denied they opened fire but, a few days back, Bijnor police said that one protestor in the town was killed in police firing.

“I went to Bijnor were two kids died there. One was a coffee vendor who was standing outside his residence; he had told his father he’d go and buy milk. His father suggested against it but he went ahead,” she said, adding, “People say cops picked him up and, after 30 minutes, they got to know a boy’s body had been found and he had been shot. Police pressed FIR, threatened the victim’s family against seeking justice”.

“Chief Minister is from a traditional Hindu family and Congress statement on ‘bhagwa’ show they don’t know what it is and it is no symbol of violence. They are worried about diminishing votes and are shielding those who damaged public property,” he said.

The Congress has demanded a judicial inquiry into the “unlawful conduct” of UP police officers, whose actions, the party said, were not in keeping with a force duty-bound to protect the rights of citizens.

The central government says the CAA seeks to give non-Muslim refugees from three Muslim-dominated neighboring nations Indian citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it violates the secular principles of the Constitution and discriminates against Muslims.

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