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BJP should follow rules, Priyanka did nothing wrong: Mamata on Sonbhadra firing


Kolkata, July 20: TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday slammed the BJP, saying the Uttar Pradesh government did not allow Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to visit Sonbhadra citing law and order problems, but a saffron party delegation had toured West Bengal's Bhatpara area when prohibitory orders were in place.

Mamata Banerjee

Priyanka Gandhi was Friday detained in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district and prevented from going to Sonbhadra, where 10 people were gunned down over a land dispute this week.

Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits assembly of more than four persons in an area, has been imposed in Sonbhadra district.

Sonbhadra Firing: Yogi Adityanath to meet victim's kin on Sunday

"I condemn this incident (Priyanka Gandhi's detention). What has happened is not right. There have been incidents of Dalits being tortured and if someone is raising voice against it, they should be allowed to do that," Banerjee told reporters here.

She said a three-member central BJP delegation was allowed to visit Bhatpara after clashes in the area despite imposition of section 144 of the CrPC. But the party did not pay heed to the administration's advice and went there with 50 vehicles, violating the law.

"What Priyanka did that she had taken four people along with her and I think three or four people should always be allowed. We had done it in Bhatpara. We do not stop people but they (the BJP) do and then spread lies about us," she added.

One person was killed and three injured in clashes between two groups in Bhatpara in June. A BJP delegation, led by former Union minister and Bardhaman-Durgapur MP S S Ahluwalia, had visited the area days after the violence.

Describing the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh as "very bad", the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said, "I have been told that over 1,100 encounters have taken place (in UP) and everyday there are incidents of lynching. These should be looked into."

Banerjee also attacked Adityanath for not having visited the Sonbhadra clash victims so far.

"I heard Adityanath is going to visit Sonbhadra (on Sunday). I think he should have visited sooner. What has happened in Sonbhadra is not right," she said.

Earlier in the day, a three-member TMC delegation, which was going to meet the families of Sonbhadra clash victims, was stopped at the Varanasi airport by Uttar Pradesh police.

After being denied permission to proceed, the delegation sat on a dharna at the airport.

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