Meerut: 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 last week during the protests.
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 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.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government for not allowing the Gandhis to enter Meerut and meet the victim's families.
Terming it an "uncalled for action", Singh slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for the "spate of curbs it has imposed on the opposition and citizens protesting against the CAA".
Gehlot termed the action as "undemocratic and unfortunate".
"It is absolutely undemocratic and unfortunate that senior Congress leaders, Rahul and Priyanka were stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police from meeting families of victims killed during anti CAA protests. Govt is not letting the opposition to stand in solidarity with the victims," Gehlot tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot also condemned the action.
"Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were stopped by Uttar Pradesh police while they were going to meet victim's family members who died in violence during anti CAA and NRC protest in Meerut. I strongly condemn the undemocratic decision of Uttar Pradesh government," Pilot tweeted.
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2019 21:44:36 IST