Lucknow/ New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Monday said police and government are using force because they have lost their “moral ground” after she was detained on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri were four farmers died on Sunday when they were allegedly crushed by cars belonging to the convoy of a Union Minister.
Priyanka Gandhi, who was detained at Sitapur early on Monday morning along with Congress MP Deepender Hooda, had started for Lakhimpur Kheri around midnight from Lucknow. Videos of the incident the Congress leader questioning police about an arrest warrant.
The video also shows Priyanka, and Congress MP Deepender Hooda being forced by police to sit in their vehicles.
In a video message released on Twitter on Monday morning, Priyanka said the government is trying to crush and destroy farmers.
“The way farmers are being crushed, there are no words for it. Farmers have been raising their voices for days, the government is not ready to listen. What happened shows the government wants to crush and destroy the farmers. This is the country of farmers, not BJP’s property,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
“When force has to be used, it means government and police have lost the moral grounds. I did not step out of my house to commit any crime. I was going to meet the families of those who died, to wipe their tears… what was wrong with it? If you are stopping me you should have an order or warrant,” she said adding that the police officer was “hiding” when she was questioning him.
Videos shared by the Congress party through Twitter, show police trying to detain Priyanka Gandhi and Hooda, and Priyanka asking them to produce an arrest warrant.
In one video, Priyanka questions the police, “Ïs this your legal standard”.
The police officer says, “arrest them first”.
Priyanka is also seen telling the Police personnel that forcing them in their vehicles without a proper warrant or order entailed to “physical assault, attempt to kidnap, and attempt to molest”.
“Get orders from your government… There is law and order in this country, it might not be there in your state. You have shoved me all the way here, you have no right to do so,” the Congress leader said.
She also said that police had no right to stop them as they were only two people, and section 144 bans the assembly of four people or more.
Support was extended to Priyanka Gandhi by several Congress leaders, including her brother and former party president Rahul Gandhi, who lauded her courage.
On Sunday, farmers had gathered to protest against the visit of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Mishra’s route was changed because of the protests.
Farmers have alleged that Ashish Mishra, son of the MoS, and other supporters crushed farmers under their vehicles without any provocation as they were leaving the protest site.
The Minister has meanwhile said that stones were pelted at the convoy and has also said that his son Ashish Mishra was not present at the spot.
While four farmers died, four people who were in the SUVs that allegedly crushed farmers also died after a car overturned. Angry farmers also set two vehicles to fire.
Police said an FIR has been registered against 14 people, including Ashish Mishra, in connection with the death of farmers. The case has been registered under 302,120B, and 147 of the IPC on the complaint of the farmers.
Similarly, a counter FIR has been lodged against the farmers by the BJP leaders too.