Priyanka Gandhi also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to Lucknow for an event, and asked why is he is not going to Lakhimpur Kheri.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who continues to be under detention in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur since Monday, lashed out at the Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday, saying that the Lakhimpur Kheri incident is not an isolated one and alleged that the UP government’s reaction to people raising their voice has been consistently that of violence and suppression.
The Congress leader also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to Lucknow for an event, and asked why is he is not going to Lakhimpur Kheri, which is just a 15-minute helicopter ride from here, to wipe the tears of families whose sons have been “brutally murdered”.
Earlier in the day, the AICC general secretary posted a video clip on Twitter, purportedly from the violence-hit district, which shows a grey-coloured SUV running over the protesting farmers. One man is thrown up over the bonnet before the vehicle speeds away, leaving a jumble of bodies on the side of the road.
Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: Viral video shows farmers being run over by SUV, Priyanka Gandhi questions police inaction
Gandhi was detained on Monday in Sitapur while on her way to Lakhimpur where eight people were killed in violence on Sunday. Along with her, several other opposition leaders were arrested or detained while trying to meet the kin of the deceased farmers.
Four of the dead were farmers allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The others included BJP workers and their driver were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and then lynched by the protesters.
When asked how she saw the Lakhimpur incident, Gandhi in a telephonic interview to PTI, said, “I see it as a part of a bigger picture of what is happening in the state and the nation because it is not an isolated incident in the sense that the government’s reaction to protests, to people raising their voices has consistently been that of violence and oppression”.
She charged, “This is an extreme situation that has arisen due to the consistent oppression that has been going on. So when anybody in Uttar Pradesh tries to protest, whether it is the students or teachers, they are beaten, oppressed and sent to jail”. “There are violent reactions towards people who raise their voices either in protest or simply to demand their rights,” she charged.
Gandhi also charged that the focus of the Uttar Pradesh government has been propaganda and public relations instead of welfare of people. On her future course of protest over the violence, Gandhi said, “The farmers are still demanding the resignation of the minister and arrest of the accused.”
“I would like to understand that when government can arrest opposition leaders without an FIR or an order for their arrest, for the crime of trying to visit the victim’s families, then why can’t they arrest the accused who ran over the farmers and committed murder in full public view? It is clear that something is very wrong. I want to meet the families of the victims,” she insisted.
“But it’s really not a question of what’s happening to me, the main issue here is that when a horrendous crime has taken place why has the government not take any action? Why is it that the BJP Government is pushed into action only due to political pressure? Why is there no due process of law?,” she said.
“Why are media channels reinforcing to me that a minister, the father of the accused has stated that this (incident) has not happened at all? Why are we told to listen to the father of the accused who is a history sheeter himself and had threatened those very people just a few days back? Why are we not listening to journalists who were present there, to the families of the victims and the eye witnesses present at the time?” she said.