Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday, 21 July, took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after he visited Sonbhadra where 10 Gond tribals were shot dead over a land dispute four days ago, saying "acknowledging one's duty is good".
CM Adityanath, after meeting the families of the victims, alleged that the incident was a political conspiracy by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. He also said that the responsible police officials have been suspended.
- The Sonbhadra incident saw 10 people killed in a shootout over a land dispute in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday
- Priyanka Gandhi met the families of the victims in a guesthouse in Mirzapur after she was detained on her way to Sonbhadra on Friday
- While the main accused and 29 others have been arrested, a sub-divisional magistrate and four other officials have been suspended
- Adityanath has held the policies of the previous Congress regime responsible for the incident
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Killings Happened Over Land Dispute
The incident took place on Wednesday when the victims resisted an attempt by the village headman and his supporters to take possession of 90 bighas of disputed land in Ghorawal area of Sonbhadra district.
Police on Thursday arrested the main accused, village headman Yagya Dutt, whose henchmen opened fire.
An FIR has been lodged against 61 people including 11 named.
According to UP DGP OP Singh, the land in the district's Ghorawal area belonged to an IAS officer who had sold it to the village head who wanted to take its possession.
When Dutt reached the spot with his henchmen in 10 to 12 tractors, local villagers tried to stop them from taking over the land, police said. Those accompanying him then showered a hail of bullets on villagers, all tribals, killing 10 of them.
The condition of some of the 18 injured is said to be stable. Some of them with minor injuries have been discharged.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Detained, Congress Announces Dharna
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who landed in Varanasi and met the injured people at the BHU Trauma Centre, was stopped in Narainpur while she was on her way to Sonbhadra. She was taken to the Chunar guesthouse nearby after she sat on a 'dharna'.
Gandhi, in a tweet, said that nothing will stop her from standing in support of the victims.
“The duty of the Uttar Pradesh government is to catch the accused. My duty is to stand for the victims. BJP has failed to stop the crime, but is stopping me from performing my duty. Nobody can stop me from standing in support of the victims. Kindly stop the crime!”
After Priyanka Gandhi was detained, the Congress announced that it may organise a statewide ‘dharna’ (demonstration) to register its protest.
Opposition Demands Action After Incident
The Congress on Friday directed all its state units and departments to protest against the “atrocities perpetrated on the common man by the BJP government.”
BSP supremo Mayawati, meanwhile, tweeted against the killings and accused both the BJP and the Congress of continued "harassment of tribals" and demanded justice for the victims.
Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to slam the Adityanath-ruled BJP government in the state and said the families of the deceased must be given Rs 20-25 lakh as compensation and the culprits must be punished.
SP members on Thursday created an uproar in the Upper House of the UP legislature over what they termed as deteriorating law and order situation in the state, referring to the Sonbhadra incident.
Trinamool Congress Delegation Detained at Varanasi Airport
The Parliamentary delegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been stopped by Varanasi police at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur, ahead of their visit to Sonbhadra.
The party’s Twitter handle put out a tweet, saying that the delegation, led by Derek O’Brien had been detained and had not been told why.
TMC Delegation Sit on Dharna at Varanasi Airport
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) team comprises O'Brien, MP and leader of the delegation Sunil Mondal and MP Abir Ranjan Biswas.
The detention of the team comes a day after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained and stopped in Mirzapaur district from going to Sonbhadra to meet those injured in the incident and the victims' families.
From 9.45 am on Saturday, the three are sitting on a dharna just off the tarmac.
"We were stopped by police at the Varanasi airport while we were going to Sonbhadra to meet the victims. There is no violation of Section 144 as we are less in number," Derek O’Brien said in a video message on Twitter.
The delegation arrived in Varanasi to meet the injured at the hospital here and then proceed to Sonbhadra to meet and give confidence to the grieving families, O'Brien said.
Family Members of Sonbhadra Victims Meet Priyanka Gandhi
Family members of the victims in the Sonbhadra incident have come to meet Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Chunar Guest House.
“Two relatives of victims have come here to meet me, 15 others are not being allowed to meet me. Even I am not being allowed to meet them,” Priyanka Gandhi told ANI on Saturday.
BJP Govt Using Section 144 to Hide Shortcomings: Mayawati
BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday alleged that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh was using Section 144 to hide its shortcomings and not allowing anyone to visit Sonbhadra.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four persons in an area.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)leader's remarks comes on a day a TMC delegation was detained at the Varanasi airport when it was going to meet the victims' families in Sonbhadra. On Friday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was stopped from going to Sonbhadra and detained.
In a tweet Mayawati said, "The UP government is banking on section 144 to hide its shortcomings pertaining to protection of life and property, and is not allowing anyone to visit Sonbhadra. Even then, the BSP legislature party has been directed to visit the place and extend every possible help to the affected people."
"Government's laxity was the main reason for this massacre," she added.
Congress Delegation Meets UP Governor
A Congress delegation led by Pramod Tiwari on Saturday met Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik over the Sonbhadra firing incident.
TMC Delegation Continues on Dharna, No Sign of DM Yet
The TMC said that their delegation has been sitting at Varanasi airport for over two hours and that there is still no sign of the District Magistrate.
Congress Leaders Detained at Varanasi Airport
Congress leaders Deepender Singh Hooda, Mukul Wasnik, Raj Babbar, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, Jitin Prasada and Rajeev Shukla have been stopped at Varanasi airport by police. They were on their way to Sonbhadra to meet the victims.
MP's 'Restrained' From Leaving Area Near Airport Tarmac: TMC
The TMC’s Twitter handle claimed that the UP administration and police have "restrained" Trinamool MPs delegation from leaving the area near the airport tarmac. Dharna continues. According to the party, the DM has said that he will meet them shortly.
Is Rule of Law and Constitution Over in UP, Asks Surjewala
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala addressed a press conference on Saturday, questioning why Priyanka Gandhi was being kept under 'house arrest' since Friday.
He said that the Congress had a few questions for the BJP government and one of them was the law under which Adityanath has had Priyanka Gandhi 'arrested for the last 24 hours'. Another question he said the Congress had was whether Opposition leaders were now prevented from going to Uttar Pradesh, which is why Priyanka had been stopped from visiting Sonbhadra. He also questioned whether the rule of law and the Constitution was over in Uttar Pradesh.
DM Meets TMC MPs, Police to Escort Delegation to BHU Trauma Centre
The TMC said on Saturday that the dharna at the Varanasi airport was still continuing, but the DM had met the MPs and informed them that they would be escorted by police to BHU Trauma Centre to meet doctors attending those injured in the Sonbhadra incident.
After that, permission notwithstanding, the delegation wishes to proceed to the spot of the incident, the tweet further added.
Congress Leaders Allowed to Go to Chunar Guest House
The Congress leaders who were stopped by UP police at the Varanasi airport on Saturday have been allowed to go the Chunar guest house where Priyanka Gandhi has been ‘detained’, Congress’s Rajeev Shukla told ANI.
Relative of Main Accused in Sonbhadra Arrested
A relative of the main accused in the Sonbhadra clash was arrested from Varanasi, a senior police official said on Saturday.
Komal, a station superintendent in Bhadohi and a relative of Ubbah village headman Yagya Dutt was arrested Friday evening from Varanasi, Superintendent of Police (SP) Salman Taj Patil said Saturday.
On Friday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said 29 people, including Dutt, have been arrested and a sub-divisional magistrate and four policemen suspended.
Objective Fulfilled by Meeting Kin of Sonbhadra Victims: Priyanka Gandhi
Family members of the Sonbhadra clash victims Saturday met Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the Chunar guesthouse in Mirzapur district, where she spent a night in detention.
Twelve members of the affected families met the Congress general secretary at the guesthouse, senior party leader Ajay Rai said.
Gandhi consoled the aggrieved family members while sharing their sorrows. Some of them who came to meet her also clicked photos to treasure the moment.
Priyanka Gandhi said after meeting the relatives of the Sonbhadra victims, her objective had been fulfilled. “My objective has been served as I have met them. I am still under detention. Let's see what the administration says,” she said.
She also added that the Congress will give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of those who died in the incident.
Section 144 Imposed in Sonbhadra, Not Right to Go There to Fulfill Political Intentions: UP Deputy CM
UP Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma on Saturday said that Section 144 is imposed in Sonbhadra. Speaking about Priyanka’s attempt to go to Sonbhadra, he said, “If you go to fulfill your political intentions, then it's not right. No one should do politics on sensitive issues. Our government is committed to maintain peace.”
'Priyanka Free to Leave, Can Go Anywhere Except Sonbhadra': Mirzapur DM
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.”
BJP Government in UP 'Dictatorially Inclined': Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi 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.
The Congress will not get scared of such tactics and stop fighting for Dalits and tribals, he added.
Section 144 in Sonbhadra Prevents Entry of Political Parties
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.
“As soon as the situation becomes normal we will remove Section 144. 29 arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Forces have been deployed to maintain peace in the village,” Aggarwal added.
Every Indian Should Stand With Them in the Name of Humanity: Priyanka After Meeting Sonbhadra Victims
Priyanka Gandhi 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.”
She also narrated the incident as she and stated that the families 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.
TMC Delegation on Its Way to Meet Victims of Firing
The TMC delegation which had been detained at the airport is on its way to meet victims of the Sonbhadra firing incident.
Standoff Between Priyanka, UP Government Ends
The Congress on Saturday afternoon said that the standoff between Priyanka Gandhi and the UP government had ended, and that she was leaving Chunar guesthouse, heading to Varanasi.
UP Govt Trying to Protect Accused in Sonbhadra Clash, Says Congress
The Congress has accused the Uttar Pradesh government of trying to protect the accused in the Sonbhadra clash instead of ensuring justice.
Questioning the reason behind Gandhi’s detention at a guesthouse in Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the chief minister and the ruling BJP were afraid of her, adding, “The reign of Ajay Bisht (Adityanath) continues to be the most insensitive in memory.”
“Adityanath has made Uttar Pradesh 'Apradh Pradesh'. The timeline of different incidents clearly shows that the BJP-led UP government is trying to protect the accused in the Sonbhadra clash,” he told reporters.
Surjewala accused Adityanath of “lying” that the previous Congress governments were responsible for the dispute that triggered Wednesday’s violence in Sonbhadra.
Priyanka Gandhi Staging Drama over Sonbhadra Clash: UP BJP Chief
Accusing Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of "staging a drama with her protest over the killing of 10 people in Sonbhadra", newly-appointed UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh on Saturday told PTI that the grand old party must abstain from it.
He added it was a sad incident, but the UP government worked swiftly and almost all the accused were arrested.
"Priyanka Gandhi is staging a drama with her dharna. She is doing politics even after her meeting with 20 families was facilitated by the state government. This act is only meant to politicise the pain of the poor people and to derive political mileage from it," he said.
TMC Thanks Priyanka Gandhi for Visiting Sonbhadra
As Priyanka Gandhi visited the kin of Sonbhadra victims, All India Trinamool Congress thanked the congress leader for “coming and exchanging thoughts on the Sonbhadra Massacre”.
UP CM to Visit kin of Sonbhadra Victims Tomorrow
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will visit Sonbhadra tomorrow to meet the family members of the victims of Sonbhadra firing incident.
'What Priyanka Gandhi Did Wasn't Wrong', Says Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee supported Priyanka Gandhi for meeting the families of Sonbhadra shoot-out victims and said, “When communal riots happen in Bengal, BJP sends their delegation. They insistently enter affected places, they don’t listen to us but TMC delegation was stopped (in UP). I believe rules should be followed, what Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did wasn't wrong.”
Responsible Police Officials Have Been Suspended, Incident a Political Conspiracy: UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who visited the families of the Sonbhadra firing victims on Sunday, 21 July, alleged that the incident was a political conspiracy by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. He also said that the responsible police officials have been suspended.
Acknowledging One's Duty Is Good: Priyanka on Adityanath's Sonbhadra Visit
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after he visited Sonbhadra where 10 Gond tribals were shot dead over a land dispute four days ago, saying "acknowledging one's duty is good".
She said the UP government has acted only after the Congress came out in strong support of the tribals.
In a tweet on Sunday, she said, "I welcome UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to Sonbhadra. Standing with the affected people is the duty of the government. Acknowledging one's duty is good." "Umbha has been awaiting justice since a very long time. Hope the affected people of Umbha will get justice and their five demands will be fulfilled," she added.
After Adityanath's visit to Sonbhadra, the Congress general secretary in another tweet said, "Only when thousands of Congress workers and justice-loving people extended their support to the affected families of Umbha, then the Uttar Pradesh government felt that some serious incident has taken place. All the announcements, which have been made today, must be implemented at the earliest." She said the tribals should get the ownership of land and most importantly the people of the village should get security.
SP Denies Yogi Adityanath's Charge That Accused in Sonbhadra Clash Is Party Member
Hitting out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for claiming that the main accused in the Sonbhadra clash was an SP member, the opposition party on Sunday, 21 July said the CM was levelling allegations against it only to hide his failures.
Talking to PTI, Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary denied the charge that the main accused in the clash over a land dispute that claimed the lives of 10 Gond tribals on Wednesday had any connection with his party.
"Yogi Adityanath is trying to hide his failures by indulging in such useless talks. How can the BJP shrug off the responsibility as regards the crime committed in Sonbhadra? Law and order and the safety and security of people are the responsibilities of the state government," he said.