In dramatic scenes on the highway between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh today, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were detained for defying a ban on large gatherings as they headed to Hathras to meet the family of the gang rape victim who died on Tuesday and whose dead-of-night cremation by the UP police has provoked nationwide outrage.
Rahul Gandhi alleged that he was pushed to the ground and lathi-charged when he and Priyanka Gandhi were marching on the highway after their convoy was stopped by Uttar Pradesh policemen.
“Why are you arresting me? What are the grounds for the arrest? Please tell the media,” Rahul Gandhi said in a heated exchange with policemen, who said that they were charging him with “Section 188” – a law on defying official orders. After briefly detaining the Gandhis, the UP Police escorted them back to Delhi.
In visuals, the Congress leader was seen resisting policemen who were trying to stop him. The Congress MP was shoved by the cops and he was seen falling to the ground in the chaos.
“Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modi Ji walk in this country? Can’t a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking,” Rahul Gandhi said, targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The Gandhis also briefly sat on the road with hundreds of supporters. “It is a photo-op by the Gandhis,” scoffed UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh.
Ahead of the Congress leaders’ visit, the UP administration this morning enforced a ban on large gatherings and put up barricades at the borders citing the coronavirus.