Kept in illegal confinement; no FIR shown, not allowed to meet counsel: Priyanka Vadra

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged that she was being held illegally at the PAC compound in Sitapur and no notice or FIR has been provided to her even after her 38-hour detention and was not allowed to meet her legal counsel. In a statement, she said she has not been produced in front of a magistrate or any other judicial officer and neither has she been allowed to meet her legal counsel, who has been standing at the gate of the compound since morning.

“Presently I am not going into the details of the completely illegal physical force used on my colleagues and me at the time of my arrest as this statement serves merely to clarify the continuing illegality of my confinement at the PAC compound in Sitapur, UP,” she said. “I have not been served with any order or notice. Nor have they shown me an FIR. I have not been produced in front of a magistrate or any other judicial officer either. I have also not been allowed to meet my legal counsel who has been standing at the gate since morning,” the Congress leader also said.

Gandhi Vadra has been kept in detention since Monday morning after she wanted to meet the families of the victims of the Lakhimpur clashes. She said she has seen a portion of a paper on social media in which the authorities have named 11 people, including eight who were not even present at the time she was arrested. In fact they have even named the two persons “who brought my clothes from Lucknow on the afternoon of October 4”, she said. Vadra said she has been placed under arrest as verbally informed to her by the arresting officer DSP Piyush Kumar Singh, CO City, Sitapur, under Section 151 at 4.30 am on October 4. “At the time I was arrested I was travelling within the district of Sitapur, approximately 20 km from the border of district Lakhimpur Kheri which was under section 144. However to my knowledge section 144 was not imposed in Sitapur,” she said.

She said she was travelling in a single vehicle with four other persons, two local Congress workers, Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda and Sandeep Singh and no security car or Congress workers other than the four persons were accompanying her. “I was then driven to the PAC compound, Sitapur accompanied by two female and two male constables. Having been brought to the PAC compound, no further communication regarding the circumstances or the reasons, or the sections under which I have been charged have been communicated to me by the UP Police or administration until now-38 hours later at 6.30 pm on October 5, 2021,” she said.

A number of Congress workers have come out in support of her and have demanded her immediate release so that she can visit the families of the violence victims and share their grief. Congress workers also staged a candle march outside the guest house in Sitapur where she has been kept. They took out the march in solidarity with her and the farmers protesting in Lakhimpur this evening.