Priyanka meets grieving kin of Sonebhadra carnage victims
July 20 2019 11:53 PM
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets families of the Sonebhadra massacre victims at the Chunar Guest House in Mirzapur yesterday.

IANS/Mirzapur, UP

I am now leaving because my purpose of meeting the families of the victims has been fulfilled. But I will return very soon. I had come here on the instructions of my brother Rahul Gandhi.”
This is what Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi told people and party workers before ending her 24-hour dharna here yesterday.
Mirzapur District Magistrate (DM) Anurag Patel took a U-turn yesterday and said that the Congress leader was free to go since she had neither been detained, nor arrested.
The DM on Friday night had asked her to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 so that she could be allowed to go.
Earlier yesterday, Priyanka met the family members of the victims who had come to the guest house in Chunar to meet her after she was prevented from going to meet them in Sonebhadra where 10 people were killed in clashes over a land dispute on Wednesday.
She said that Congress will provide a compensation of Rs1mn each to the deceased person’s families.
She also put five demands before the Uttar Pradesh government: Rs 2.5mn compensation for each of the victims’ families; fast-track trial in the Sonebhadra case; land titles for the tribals; security for the affected families; withdrawal of land dispute cases against the villagers.
Several senior Congress leaders who were on their way to Sonebhadra were detained by the police at Varanasi airport. A three-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress was also detained at the airport.
The detention of the political leaders came a day after Priyanka was detained and stopped in Mirzapaur district from going to Sonebhadra to meet the injured and the victims’ families.
The Congress termed the entire episode as a ‘major victory for the party’ and slammed the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh for resorting to fascism and preventing their leaders from visiting Sonebhadra.
Priyanka had been prevented from going to the Murtiya village in Sonebhadra by the district administration and was detained on Friday at the Chunar Guest House.
Priyanka told the media that she was trying to meet the kin of the victims since Friday but was not allowed to.  “And now that they are here to meet me, they are also being stopped. Even I am being prevented from speaking to them,” she said.
The meeting between Priyanka and the victims’ families was highly emotional as the women sobbed bitterly while narrating the sequence of events. Priyanka could not hold back her tears as she hugged them and assured them of all support and help.
The Sonebhadra incident saw 10 people killed in a shootout over a land dispute in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
While the main accused and 29 others have been arrested, a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and four other officials have been suspended.

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