Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Priyanka Gandhi met some family members of the victims of the Sonbhadra firing incident on Saturday, 20 July. After meeting the families and declaring her objective fulfilled, Priyanka left for Varanasi in the afternoon.
Some of the villagers from Sonbhadra, where ten people were gunned down over a land dispute, came to the guesthouse itself.
Gandhi had spent Friday night at the Chunar guesthouse, insisting she will not return to Delhi unless she meets the families of the victims.
The Congress general secretary had earlier met some of those injured in Wednesday's clash at the BHU Trauma Centre in Varanasi, PTI reported.
Expressing anger over members of the aggrieved families from Sonbhadra being stopped from meeting her, Congress leader Priyanka said, on Saturday, they have come here in "great grief" and should at least be allowed a meeting.
15 Family Members Stopped From Entering Chunar Guest House
The Congress general secretary remark came after 15 family members of Sonbhadra clash victims were stopped from entering the Chunar guesthouse where she spent a night in detention, PTI reported.
Earlier, twelve family members of the clash victims were allowed to meet her.
“Some of them were allowed, but rest of the 15 persons from the family of the aggrieved were stopped at the gate... They have come in grief, I am saying please at least allow them to meet “ Gandhi told reporters.
Some people who came to meet Priyanka Gandhi also claimed that they were stopped from meeting her.
"They have faced a big incident, a massacre has happened. People have been killed, their family members have been murdered, and they are being stopped. Workers are being allowed to meet, but they are being stopped," she said.
Gandhi consoled the aggrieved family members while sharing their sorrows, wiped tears of the family members, and also offered water to them.
Some of them who came to meet her also clicked photos to treasure the moment.
Priyanka took to Twitter to talk about her visit with the families of Sonbhadra victims, saying “What they have been through is unimaginably brutal and unjust. Every single Indian should stand with them in the name of humanity.”
After speaking to the families, she stated that they had some demands such as Rs 25 lakh compensation for the families of those either killed or injured in the firing, fast track court for trial in Sonbhadra case, land titles for the tribals, security for the affected families and withdrawal of case against the villagers in the last few years over land dispute.
Standoff Between UP Govt - Priyanka at an End
The standoff between Priyanka and the Uttar Pradesh government also ended on Saturday afternoon, a day after she was detained by the Mirzapur administration when she insisted on travelling to Sonbhadra.
Anurag Patel, DM Mirzapur said on Saturday, “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was not arrested, she was only stopped from going to Sonbhadra. Even today, she can visit any place except Sonbhadra.”
Ankit Aggarwal, the Sonbhadra District Magistrate, said that Section 144 prevents the entry of political parties. “The situation in the village is sensitive so we have imposed Section 144 in the district. This prevents the entry of political parties as well as social organisations. I would like to request everyone to cooperate to maintain peace in the area,” he told ANI.
Ready to Go to Jail If Not Allowed to Meet Families: Priyanka
On Friday, after Priyanka was stopped from going to Sonbhadra and detained, she spent the night at the guesthouse, turning down all requests of the local administration to return without meeting the families of the clash victims.
The administration detained her under 151 CrPC citing prohibitory orders, PTI reported.
In a late-night tweet, she said she is ready to go to jail if she is not allowed to go ahead.
The second round of talks held between the Congress leaders and local administration late in the night proved futile and Gandhi preferred staying back in the guesthouse along with her supporters, the party sources said Saturday.
"I have clearly stated that I have come here not to violate any law but to meet the victims,"she said and also posted a video showing the officials leaving Chunar Fort in Mirzapur at 1.15 AM.
The Congress general secretary also shared a video of aggrieved Sonbhadra families mourning the death of their near ones.
"Is it a crime to wipe these tears?" she asked in a tweet.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of being "dictatorially inclined" and said party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's "imprisonment" at Chunar guesthouse is an attempt to trample upon democracy.
"The imprisonment of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on way to meet the families of Sonbhadra massacre victims, in Chunar guest house through the night without water and electricity by a dictatorially inclined UP government is an attempt to trample upon democracy," Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi.
Ten people were gunned down and 28 injured in the clash between supporters of Ubbah village head Yagya Dutt and Gond tribals over a piece of land in Sonbhadra's Ghorawal area on Wednesday.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)