Agra, Oct 20 (PTI): Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was stopped by the Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday from going to Agra to meet the family members of a man who died in police custody, was allowed to proceed in the evening.
The police have allowed Priyanka Gandhi to go and she has left for Agra, Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said.
The Lucknow police has allowed four people, including UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu and senior leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam, to accompany Priyanka Gandhi, Awasthi said.
Police said the Congress general secretary was stopped at the Lucknow-Agra expressway as the Agra district magistrate had requested not to allow any political personality to go there following the man’s death. “She was neither taken into custody nor arrested. Because of the massive crowds, the traffic movement was being hampered and she was first asked to either go to the party office or her residence but when she did not agree, she was sent to the police lines,” Lucknow Police Commissioner D K Thakur said.
A Congress spokesperson had claimed that Priyanka Gandhi was taken into custody while she was going to Agra.
To a query from reporters in Kushinagar on the Congress leader being stopped from going to Agra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Law and order is supreme and no one will be allowed to play with it.”
While being taken to the police lines, Priyanka Gandhi told reporters that she will definitely go to Agra.
A similar confrontation had occurred earlier this month when the Uttar Pradesh police had prevented the Congress leader from visiting the families of the farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri.
She was taken into preventive custody for over 48 hours before being allowed to visit the families along with Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders.
“Do I need someone’s permission whenever I move out of Lucknow? Is there a problem? Why am I not being allowed to go to Agra? Is there a law-and-order issue?” Priyanka Gandhi asked the policemen who stopped her cavalcade.
“Someone has died, how can it be a law-and-order issue? Ask the DM by calling him. It is too much that I cannot go out anywhere and should remain confined to a guesthouse in Lucknow,” she told the policemen when they showed her the Agra district magistrate’s message.
Congress workers who had reached the spot in large numbers raised slogans against the Uttar Pradesh government after Priyanka Gandhi was not allowed to proceed to Agra.
In a tweet in Hindi, the Congress general secretary asked if beating anyone to death in police custody was any kind of justice.
“The incident of Arun Valmiki’s death in police custody in Agra is condemnable. On the day of Valmiki Jayanti, the Uttar Pradesh government has acted against his messages. A high-level investigation should be held and action taken against the policemen, and the victim’s family should be compensated,” she said.
In another tweet after being stopped from going to Agra, the Congress leader said, “Arun Valmiki died in police custody. His family is seeking justice. I want to visit the family. What is the Uttar Pradesh government afraid of? Why am I being stopped? Today is Valmiki Jayanti, the prime minister spoke a lot about Buddha but is attacking his messages.”
Baghel slams UP CM
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday slammed his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath after the UP police stopped Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from going to Agra to visit the family of a man who died in police custody. The Congress general secretary was allowed to proceed to Agra in the evening after being stopped on the Lucknow-Agra expressway.
When Lord Ram was heading to Lanka to fight against injustice, he was prevented by several hindrances but he did not stop and justice was done, Baghel said, adding hashtag `Valmikiyo Ke Saath Priyanka’ (Priyanka with the Valmikis).