Lakhimpur Kheri| Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi Meet Kin of Deceased Farmers
Rahul Gandhi led a five-member Congress delegation to meet the families of the deceased farmers.
A Rahul Gandhi-led five-member delegation of the Congress party, as well as party leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday, 6 October, met the families of the farmers who had lost their lives in the Lakhimpur unrest.
"Today in Lakhimpur Kheri, Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi met Late Lovepreet's mother, father and both sisters and expressed their condolences," tweeted Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is part of the delegation that visited Lakhimpur.
"The family also narrated all the agony and also showed the wounds inflicted by the oppressive government," he said.
As many as eight people, including four farmers, had died in Lakhimpur on Sunday. An FIR under the charges of murder and rioting has been filed against the son of Union Minister Ajay Teni Misra, who was allegedly driving the car that had run over three farmers in Lakhimpur.
Alleging that dictatorship has replaced democracy in India, Rahul Gandhi had announced earlier on Wednesday that he would go to Lakhimpur even without UP government's permission as it was the opposition's job to create pressure.
Pointing out that Section 144 is in force in Lakhimpur Kheri and that “it only stops five people,” Rahul Gandhi had said on Wednesday morning:
“Three of us are going. We have written them a letter. Opposition's job is to create pressure so that action is taken.”
Later in the day, the UP government had approved Rahul Gandhi-led delegation's visit, Lakhimpur Kheri DM Arvind Kumar Chaurasiya had stated.
The Congress delegation that visited Lakhimpur comprises of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Vaghel, KC Venugopal, and Randeep Surjewala, in addition to Rahul Gandhi.
Stand-Off at Lucknow Airport
Rahul Gandhi's delegation had been halted at Lucknow airport, after the leader refused to leave amid a heated stand-off with airport security personnel.
As per a report by NDTV, Gandhi was asked to travel in a government-provided vehicle. However, he refused to be escorted.
Speaking to the security, he had asked, "Who are you to arrange my transport? I want to leave in my car."
NDTV had quoted the leader as saying, "They are up to some mischief. Cent per cent."
After the exchange, the delegation had left for Lakhimpur on Wednesday afternoon.
'Voice of India Being Crushed': Rahul Gandhi
"BJP-RSS controlling all institutions in the country. India is no longer a democracy. Today, we have a dictatorship. Opposition leaders can't go to Uttar Pradesh. The voice of India is being crushed," Rahul Gandhi had stated in a press briefing on Wednesday morning.
"We want to go there. They are only stopping us. They have allowed other parties to go there. TMC and Bhim Army were allowed to go. I want to know and see what is the ground reality. Nobody is aware of that as of now. My goal is to go and meet the families of the people who have been killed," Gandhi had said.
Criticising the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi had also said:
"Farmers are being mowed down by a jeep, they're being murdered, the name of a Union minister & his son is coming up in this incident. Yesterday, PM visited Lucknow but he didn't visit Lakhimpur Kheri. It's a systematic attack on farmers," he added.
Commenting on Priyanka Gandhi's house-arrest, he said, "As far as Priyanka's arrest is concerned, this matter is about the farmers' protest. Also, whether it is Priyanka or me, we are not bothered by manhandling. You can hit us, attack us. We are talking about the farmers. We have been trained this way by our family."
Stopped From Going to Lucknow To Check on My Wife: Robert Vadra
Businessman Robert Vadra on Wednesday said he had been "stopped" from going to Lucknow to "check" on his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is currently under house arrest, and said he was "shocked beyond belief".
"I have been stopped (from going) to Lucknow, UP, to check on my wife and make sure she is fine and well. I am shocked beyond belief... how Priyanka has been arrested under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code. I spoke with her yesterday, and she informed me she had not been served with any order or notice," Vadra wrote on Facebook.
"... not been produced before a judicial officer, not allowed to meet her legal counsel. I am really worried for her... packed my bag to go to Lucknow when I was informed I won't be allowed to step out of the airport," he further said.
He said it was "totally shocking that as a husband I can't even go and support my wife".
"Thankfully, she has a huge support of the masses... But for me, my family and my wife come first. I really hope and pray that she is released soon and is back home safe," he added.
UP Govt's Initial Denial of Permission to Rahul Gandhi
Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal, on Tuesday, wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, seeking permission for the Rahul Gandhi-led delegation to visit Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday, considering how leader from Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) were allowed to visit on Tuesday.
The letter noted that political leaders from UP and West Bengal were allowed to undertake a visit to the site and that the Congress should be permitted to do the same as well.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday had denied permission to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to visit Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday, in view of Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in state capital Lucknow.
The government's order had noted, "Section 144 will remain in force in the capital till 8 November to maintain law and order and ensure adherence to COVID-19 rules in view of upcoming festivals, various entrance exams and farmers' protests."
The due permission had been granted by the government on Wednesday.
(With inputs from ANI)
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