Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Thursday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police after they were stopped from marching towards Hathras, the party said. Rahul Gandhi also fell down in the melee after police tried to stop him and his supporters from proceeding on the Yamuna Expressway. The Gandhis were then taken away in a police jeep.
"Shri Rahul Gandhi, Smt Priyanka Gandhi and senior Congress leaders have been arrested by the UP police," the Congress said on Twitter, using the hashtag "JusticeForIndiasDaughters".
Rahul Gandhi earlier questioned senior UP cops under which law was he being stopped by them as he wanted to walk alone towards Hathras to meet the rape victim's family.
"Can you tell me under which law can you stop me from marching towards Hathras," he told the cops. "I want to go alone to Hathras and on what basis can you arrest me," he added, to which the cops told him that he had violated Section 188 of the IPC of disobeying the orders promulgated by the government during the pandemic.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala put out a video along with a tweet showing Rahul Gandhi allegedly being roughed up as he marched forward on the Yamuna Expressway. Pictures of him falling down in the melee were shared by the Congress.
"Lala Lajpat Rai had said that every blow of a stick on my body would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the British Raj. "The sticks on Rahul ji and Priyanka ji's convoy will also prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the Yogi government," Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress leader P Chidambaram also alleged that none of the country's laws seemed to apply to the UP police. "UP police is a law into itself. None of the laws of the country seem to apply to it," he alleged.
"What is wrong if the leaders of a political party protest against a gruesome crime and wish to visit the victim's family," he asked on Twitter. Chidambaram said the two leaders were not violent, they did not carry arms and they were lodging a peaceful protest. "Why should the police stop them from protesting peacefully? Why should the UP police arrest the two leaders and take them away?" "I hope the court where the leaders will be produced will release them," he said. The Gandhis were seeking to walk down from Greater Noida to Hathras after their vehicles were stopped by the police.
After walking for some time, they were stopped by the police. A large number of Congress workers and leaders were accompanying them during their march.