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New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for the “illegal arrest” of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Sonbhadra, saying this “arbitrary application of power” to stop her from meeting those injured in a clash reveals the BJP dispensation’s increasing insecurity in the state.

Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi was Friday stopped from proceeding towards Sonbhadra district to meet those injured in the clash that claimed 10 lives, and taken to a guesthouse by authorities after she staged a sit-in. The Congress claimed that Priyanka Gandhi had been taken into police custody.

“The illegal arrest of Priyanka in Sonbhadra, UP, is disturbing. This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP Govt’s increasing insecurity in UP,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

Other senior Congress leaders also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident and described the action as “crushing of democracy”. Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh West Jyotiraditya Scindia hit out at the Adityanath government for stopping Priyanka Gandhi from proceeding to Sonbhadra, saying the action was “open disrespect” of democracy.

“Meeting families of victims and expressing condolences is the responsibility of public representatives. The government has attempted to crush democracy which is highly condemnable,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also lashed out at the government over the incident, saying the BJP dispensation has made Uttar Pradesh “apraadh pradesh” (crime state). “By arresting Priyanka Gandhi, keeping her in Chunar (guesthouse), will the UP government be able to cover up the killing of 10 people of a tribal family in Sonbhadra?” he asked in a tweet in Hindi.

On Wednesday, a village head and his supporters allegedly opened fire on a rival group in a land dispute in Sonbhadra killing 10 people, including three women, and leaving several injured.

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