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Days after Row over Priyanka's Visit, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Quietly Meets Sonbhadra Villagers

The Dalit leader said villagers belonging to the Gond tribal community were being threatened even days after the incident and hence, they should either be given security cover or arms license to protect themselves.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:July 23, 2019, 6:25 PM IST
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Days after Row over Priyanka's Visit, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Quietly Meets Sonbhadra Villagers
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad talks to villagers in Sonbhadra on Tuesday. (News18)
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Lucknow: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad reached Umbha village in Sonbhdara district on Tuesday without any prior information to the district administration and met the kin of those who were killed and injured in the firing that claimed 10 lives last week.

The Dalit leader said villagers belonging to the Gond tribal community were being threatened even days after the shootout and hence, they should either be given security cover or arms license to protect themselves.

“I had to sneak into the village on a motorbike to meet my people. Had the administration known about my visit to Umbha village, it would not have let me come here and meet the families of the victims. The information being circulated that firing took place from both sides is completely false. No villager has any firearm or license,” he said.

“The Bhim Army will help the victims in whatever way possible. We will fight their cases and bring the culprits to justice. It is also a fact that 300 people had come to the village and most of them were armed. The administration should also reveal how many firearms were seized and how many tractor trollies used in the incident were recovered. People from the village who are speaking to the administration in favour of the victims are being threatened. I demand the government provide them with security or at least arms license,” Azad said.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath blamed the Congress for laying the foundation of the land dispute in 1955 that led to the killing of 10 people last week. During his visit to the village on Sunday, the CM had also hinted at a nexus between the main accused and the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Congress leader and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who was detained when she insisted on visiting the village after the incident, hit back saying the killings happened at a time when the BJP was in power at the state and Centre and hence, the saffron party should take responsibility for it.

The SP leadership also slammed the chief minister for linking the accused, village head Yagya Dutt, with the party. SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said Adityanath was making such statements to hide his own failures.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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