‘Was caught by my neck’: Priyanka Gandhi narrates ordeal after UP police stop her from visiting activist home

It all started when Gandhi’s vehicle was obstructed by a bunch of policemen near Lohia Park crossing in the city. Gandhi argued with cops who insisted she was not allowed to go any further.

High drama broke out in Lucknow when Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was allegedly stopped and roughed-up by the police before she gave them a slip and walked on foot to the house of retired IPS officer SR Darapuri, arrested during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the city on December 20.

It all started when Gandhi’s vehicle was obstructed by a bunch of policemen near Lohia Park crossing in the city. Gandhi argued with cops who insisted she was not allowed to go any further since her vehicle was not following the “prescribed” route.

Defying the police, Priyanka got down and was seen riding pillion on All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Dheeraj Gurjar’s scooter before she was stopped again.

Gandhi said she then continued on foot but that didn’t work for long as she was stopped again by a female cop, who treated her roughly.

“They caught me by the neck. I have come riding on a Scooty. I was not being allowed to come to SR Darapuri’s place, who was speaking up for non-violent protests. His wife is ill and she was crying. I fell down. I was pushed by a policewoman…But I continued,” said Priyanka, asking, “Why is all this happening?”

Gandhi later reportedly gave the cops a slip, and walked to SR Darapuri’s Indiranagar (sector-18) residence and met the family members.

Gandhi was earlier seen reasoning with cops as onlookers watched. “What is the reason for stopping us, that too in the middle of the city? This is not an issue of the SPG, but of the Uttar Pradesh police. There is no point in stopping us. Will you stop (anyone) in the middle of a crossing?” She was heard asking a police official.

Gandhi’s visit to the Darapuri’s house was not planned. Sec 144 is in effect in the area around Lohia Park, where the incident took place on Saturday afternoon.

Gandhi said she had deliberately kept her visit under the wraps so that it doesn’t lead to any law and order challenges.

“I was going in a peaceful manner, how was the law-and-order scenario going to deteriorate? I did not tell anyone about this (visit) so that not more than three persons accompany me. They do not have the right to stop me. If they want to arrest me, they should do so,” she told reporters.

Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh told PTI that Priyanka walked for almost four kilometres to Darapuri’s home and gave a slip to not only cops but also the party workers accompanying her.

“After walking for almost a kilometre, she again got into her vehicle. After this, when the police tried to stop her in the Munshipulia area, she again started walking and then suddenly turned towards a bylane in Indiranagar’s Sector 18. She walked for almost three-four kilometres and gave a slip to the police as well as the party workers,” he added.

SSP Lucknow,Kalanidhi Naithini said that he had received a report from the area incharge which said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s car was not moving in the “scheduled route”. He also said the police report denies any manhandling of the Congress leader.

“Whatever rumours are doing rounds on social media of heckling and strangulating Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are wrong.” the SSP told ANI citing the report.

Earlier during the day, Priyanka attended the party’s 135th Foundation Day celebrations and administered the oath of the preamble of the Constitution to party workers in the city.

Source: Hindustan Times


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