20 July 2019
Mirzapur: About 18 family members of the victims of the Sonebhadra carnage on Saturday arrived at Mirzapur's Chunar fort where Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been detained since Friday afternoon. However, only five of them were allowed to meet the Congress leader.
Priyanka told the media: "The victims of the family members have arrived here, but only a few people have been allowed to meet me."
The Congress leader said she was trying to meet the kin of the victims since Friday but was not allowed to. "And now that they are here to meet me, they are also being stopped. Even I am being prevented from speaking to them," she said.
Lambasting the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, she said: "God knows what is their mindset. The administration did nothing when these people needed help and protection but it has been actively guarding me since 24 hours."
"A lot of people have come to meet me since yesterday, they were not stopped, but these families from Sonebhadra are not being allowed to talk to me. What crime have they committed?" she asked.
According to Congress leaders, the group came to the Chunar Fort all way from Ubhha village in Sonbhadra, 70 kms away. "They started at 4 a.m. and walked all night to meet her. They kept crying for hours after seeing her," he said.
The five people, who met Priyanka told the media: "We have come on our own. We are 18 people, including many women."
On Wednesday, 10 people, from the Gond tribe, were killed and two dozen injured in a caste clash over a land dispute in Murtiya village in Sonebhadra.
On Friday, Priyanka was on her way to Sonebhadra to meet the victims' families when she was detained at Narayanpur in Mirzapur. She has been under detention at the Chunar Guest House for 24 hours, but refused to fill the bail bond of Rs 50,000.
Senior Congress leaders P.L. Punia, Pramod Tiwari, Ajay Kumar Lallu, Ajay Rai, Laliteshpati Tripathi have been camping at the Chunar fort since Friday with Priyanka. She was joined by Congress Women's Wing chief and former MP Sushmita Deb on Saturday.
Insisting that she would not return without meeting the families of the victims, Priyanka on Saturday morning, asked the district administration to arrange her to meet them either in Mirzapur, Varanasi or Sonebhadra.
"Is it a crime to wipe the tears of these people?" she tweeted attaching a video of the weeping kin. She described the killings as a "massacre".