Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Wednesday said he was detained along with Acharya Pramod Krishnam by the police in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh when they were on their way to meet the families of the four farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Speaking with PTI, Pilot said all through their road journey from Delhi they were stopped at multiple checkpoints, posed several questions by the police and were eventually detained and taken to a guest house in Moradabad.
“We have broken no law, we were merely going to meet the families of the farmer victims and the intention was to bring peace and calm in the area. People who are named in the FIR are not being questioned or detained but people who are going to share the sorrow and wipe the tears of people are being detained,” the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.
“This evening @AcharyaPramodk ji & I were detained in Moradabad while on route to Lakhimpur Kheri. We didn’t break any provisions of the law. These undemocratic steps of UP Govt will not deter us,” he said in a tweet.
“We’ll raise our voice for justice for the deceased farmers & their families,” Pilot said. Pilot landed in Delhi on Wednesday morning and set out for Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh by road straight from the airport.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was in detention in Sitapur since Monday morning. She was on her way to meet the families of the farmers killed in Sunday’s violence in Lakhimpur Kheri when she was stopped. She and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were allowed to go Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday.
Pilot was stopped by the police briefly near Gaur City in Ghaziabad on the national highway-24 but then permitted to proceed towards Hapur. Senior Superintendent of Police Pawan Kumar said Ghaziabad Police has no plans to intercept Pilot’s motorcade.
Four of the eight dead in Sunday’s violence in Lakhimpur Kheri were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area. The four others included two BJP workers, a driver of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, and Raman Kashyap, a journalist working for a private TV channel.
While the first three were allegedly lynched by agitating farmers, the scribe, according to his father, died after being hit by a vehicle when he was covering news of farmers’ protest against Maurya’s visit to Ajay Mishra’s native place. The UP Police has lodged a case against Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son but no arrest has been made.