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Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra Stopped from Entering Meerut to Meet Kin of Deceased Anti-CAA Protesters

Rahul Gandhi said the police did not show them any order for stopping them and told them to return.


Updated:December 24, 2019, 5:51 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra Stopped from Entering Meerut to Meet Kin of Deceased Anti-CAA Protesters
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stopped by the police outside Meerut on Tuesday.

Meerut (UP): Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Tuesday stopped by police from entering Meerut on their way to meet the families of those who died during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The two had requested that they, along with another Congress leader, be allowed to meet the families, but were denied entry, Congress sources said in Delhi.

The Gandhis were stopped near Partapur police station. "We asked the police to show us order, but they did not show any order for stopping us and told us to return," Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

According to a police statement, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were served a notice which said section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed and the situation in Meerut was sensitive.

"They were told that they will be held responsible for any deterioration of the law and order situation in the district due to their visit," the statement said.

Both were conveyed that the police will have no objection if they wanted to visit the district peacefully. They both went back on their own, it added.

At least five protesters died in Meerut alone.

Later, senior state Congress leaders Imran Masood and Pankaj Malik met the victims' families. A Congress spokesperson said that the Gandhis will again try to meet the families on Wednesday.

Priyanka Gandhi had on Sunday met the families of some of the protesters who died in Bijnor. Seventeen people are reported to have died in Uttar Pradesh during protests against the new citizenship law.

A four-member Trinamool Congress delegation, which was scheduled to meet the grieving families of those killed in Uttar Pradesh during protests over the new citizenship law, was also detained at Lucknow airport on Sunday afternoon.

Several Congress leaders condemned the decision of the administration to stop the Gandhis from visiting Meerut.

Terming it an "uncalled for action", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh slammed the UP government for the "spate of curbs it has imposed on the opposition and citizens protesting against the CAA". He said Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were going to Meerut not to protest, but to share the grief of the kin of those killed during the recent anti-CAA protests.

Strongly condemn the UP govt's decision to stop @RahulGandhi & @priyanakgandhi from travelling into Meerut to meet the families of the victims of the #CAAProtests. What India needs at this moment is a healing touch and not such curbs against opposition parties. #NRC_CAA_Protests, Singh tweeted.

Protest is the democratic right of every Indian citizen but the UP government has been acting "in a draconian manner to crack the whip on protesting citizens as if they were terrorists or gangsters," the chief minister said in a statement issued here.

He said such "extreme reaction" from a democratically elected state government speaks of "vindictive politics against a particular community, which strikes at the very foundation of India's constitutional ethos".

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