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Sonbhadra land dispute: Priyanka Gandhi stopped in Mirzapur, taken into preventive custody

By Simran Kashyap

Lucknow, July 19: Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra , who was on way to Sonbhadra to meet families of those who were killed in firing over a land dispute, was on Friday stopped near Mirzapur. The leader sat on a protest in the region. She was later detained by the police. The administration has imposed Section 144 in Sonbhadra where 10 people were killed earlier this week.

"I have been stopped from entering Mirzapur. Under which law have I been stopped? I have asked them to show me some papers, which they (officials) haven't been able to show. There is Section 144 imposed in Sonbhadra, not in Mirzapur. I have been stopped in Varanasi," Priyanka told reporters.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sits in protest on the roadside, surrounded by her security officials and party workers, after she was stopped from proceeding to Sonbhadra to meet victims of clash that claimed 10 lives, in Mirzapur

She was expected to visit Varanasi where some of the grievously injured have been admitted at the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) hospital.

After that she would proceed to Umbha village under Ghorawal police station in Sonbhadra where 10 people, including three women, were killed in incessant firing by the village pradhan, his family members and around 200 of his supporters on Wednesday.

Priyanka had sent UP Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar 'Lallu' to the area to meet the family of victims on Thursday.

Accompanied by Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Mirzapur Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, Ajay Kumar met the families.

He had demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of the deceased and assured the families to take up the issue in the Vidhan Sabha.

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Twenty-six people, including the main accused--village pradhan Yagya Dutt and three more members of his family--have already been arrested.

Ahead of her Sonbhadra visit Priyanka in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked to keep her security at a minimum during her visits to the state for the convenience of people.

In a letter sent to Adityanath on Wednesday, Priyanka Gandhi said, "I appreciate the security arrangements made by the police and administration during my visit to the state but it causes a lot of inconvenience to the people and this troubles me."

"Since I am a 'sewak' of people, they should not face any trouble because of me," she said.

Referring to her and her mother Sonia Gandhi's visit to Raebareli in June, she said 22 vehicles were in their convoy, causing inconvenience to people.

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