Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been detained while on her way to violence-hit Lakhimpur Kheri following farmers protest, has described the police action against her as an act of 'kidnapping'.
Speaking to India TV in an exclusive conversation, Priyanka Gandhi said that the police didn't have any papers or warrant, despite that she was detained. Slamming UP Police's action, Priyanka Gandhi used strong words saying she will call it 'kidnapping'.
Explaining the scene further, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "cops came and said section 144 is in force so you cannot proceed. We said that there are 5 people and there is no violation of section 144. When I protested, 8-10 women surrounded me by making chains, at that time they pushed me a little, were not allowing me to walk, pulled my colleague Deepender Hooda in the car and also punched a fellow. My anger was because you don't have any legal basis..."
She continued and said, "I questioned them (cops) again, and asked you don't have any legal orders to arrest me... you could be charged with kidnapping, I'll go quietly with you if you arrest me... Then they told me that I am being arrested under section 151. They put me in a jeep with 4 policemen, no one was with me. I was taken to Sitapur PAC..."
Priyanka Gandhi mentioned, "My only demand was that I wanted to go there and express my condolences (to the victims of Lakhimpur violence), these people (UP administration) have taken all this action to stop me from going there, but till the time I meet victim's families, there is no question of me going back. The incident has happened and that is the main issue, my arrest is not a big issue. The issue is that the 'annadata' (farmers) of the country are being harassed for a year, with whose hard work this country has been made, whose sons are fighting on border..."
What happened today
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other Congress leaders accompanying her, including Deepender Hooda, had reached the Lakhimpur border in the morning but were not allowed to meet the families of the farmers who died in the violence during a protest a day earlier. On their way to the violence-hit district, Congress leaders took alternative routes to reach the bordering Hargaon area in Sitapur as heavy security was deployed on the main roads.
Priyanka's convoy was earlier briefly stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police officials in Lucknow, where she had arrived on Sunday night, within a few hours of violence being reported during an anti-farm laws protest in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Watch full interview here: