Priyanka Gandhi’s detention: Congress workers stages protest, Mir detained briefly
Jammu/Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Congress Tuesday staged a protest outside the party headquarters here against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and the subsequent detention of party leader Priyanka Gandhi.
The protesters jumped police barricades, marched on the busy Residency Road for a short distance, raised slogans against the BJP government for its “dictatorial rule” and harming democratic institutions, before concluding the demonstration peacefully.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi was detained in Sitapur on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people died and several others were injured on Sunday in the bloodiest clash since the beginning of the farmers’ protest over the Centre’s new agri laws.
Led by J&K Congress vice president Raman Bhalla, the party activists gathered outside its headquarters at Shaheedi Chowk in the city to lodge their protest against the shameful and ruthless killing of farmers and the UP police detaining Gandhi. They demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
“We have assembled here to strongly condemn the killing of the farmers and lodge our protest against the dictatorship of the BJP governments, both in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre,” Bhalla told reporters amid high pitch sloganeering by party activists in support of Gandhi and against the killing of farmers.
Bhalla said the Congress leader had tried to go there to wipe the tears of the bereaved families but was detained in an unconstitutional and unethical manner.
“We will continue our protest against the BJP governments, which are intoxicated by power. We will press for revocation of the three farm laws. The farmers are on the streets for nearly a year but this government is not paying any heed,” the Congress leader said.
Condemning the UP government, he demanded immediate release of Gandhi.
Youth Congress leader Uday Bhanu Chib, who was also part of the protest, said the people of Uttar Pradesh have lost faith in the BJP governments both in the state and at the centre.
The strong-arm tactics against peaceful protests is the hallmark of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, he said, demanding restoration of democracy and rule of law in the state.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Ghulam Ahmad Mir was briefly detained by police on Tuesday as the party took out a protest march.
As part of the country-wide protests against the detention of the party general secretary, scores of Congress leaders and activists, led by the JKPCC president, tried to take out a protest march from the party office at M A Road here.
However, as soon as the protesters reached M A Road, police swung into action and tried to disperse them, officials said.
They said the police detained Mir and took him to police station Kothibagh here. Mir was released after a brief detention.
Police also dispersed the protesters, during which one Congress activist suffered minor injuries, they said.
Before being taken into detention, Mir told reporters that the protest was in support of the farmers who were protesting against the three farm laws as well as to express solidarity with their party general secretary.
Today, Congress workers will remain on the roads across the country till she is released. This protest is to express solidarity with her and to support the farmers, he said.