Mirzapur/Lucknow | Family members of the Sonbhadra clash victims on Saturday met Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the Chunar guesthouse in Mirzapur district, where she spent a night in detention.
Twelve members of the affected families met the Congress general secretary at the guesthouse, senior party leader Ajay Rai said.
Priyanka Gandhi was stopped from going to Sonbhadra and detained on Friday. She spent the night at the guesthouse, turning down all requests of the local administration to return without meeting the families of the clash victims.
Gandhi consoled the aggrieved family members while sharing their sorrows. She wiped tears of the family members, and also offered water to them.
Some of them who came to meet her also clicked photos to treasure the moment. In a late-night tweet, she said she is ready to go to jail if she is not allowed to go ahead.
The second round of talks held between the Congress leaders and local administration late in the night proved futile and Priyanka preferred staying back in the guesthouse along with her supporters, the party sources said Saturday.
Earlier in a series of tweets, Priyanka said Uttar Pradesh government sent ADG Varanasi Brij Bhushan, Commissioner Varanasi Deepak Agarwal and DIG to tell her to return without meeting the victims .
“I have clearly stated that I have come here not to violate any law but to meet the victims,”she said and also posted a video showing the officials leaving Chunar Fort in Mirzapur at 1.15 AM. In another tweet, she said that her advocates have told her that her detention is totally illegal.
“They (officials) are sitting with me for around one hour.They did not tell me the ground of detention nor showed any papers,” she said.
The Congress general secretary also shared a video of aggrieved Sonbhadra families mourning the death of their near ones. “Is it a crime to wipe these tears?” she asked in a tweet.
Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu who was with Priyanka told PTI that water and power connections were cut in the night to force the Congressmen to return but they remained at the guest house insisting on permission to meet the victims.
“At around 4.30 AM, Priyanka Gandhi sat with the party workers. The government had made no arrangements for breakfast at the guest house. Local residents and party workers are making arrangements,” he added.
In Lucknow, Congressmen spent the night at the GPO Park before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in solidarity with Priyanka. “We will continue to sit here till Priyankaji is kept in the guesthouse in Mirzapur and not allowed to meet the victims,” party spokesman Anshu Awasthi said.
Priyanka was Friday detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra where 10 people were gunned down this week, triggering a standoff with the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.
The administration detained her under 151 CrPC citing prohibitory orders and brought her to the guesthouse.