Why is Yogi Adityanath govt treating tribals as militants, asks Congress

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of “misleading” the public about the Sonbhadra incident

Priyanka Gandhi meets the grieving tribal families at Chunar guest house on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
Priyanka Gandhi meets the grieving tribal families at Chunar guest house on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

NH Web Desk

Slamming the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for not allowing the tribals of Sonbhadra’s Umbha village to meet Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress party on Saturday demanded to know as to why the Yogi government was treating the poor tribals as militants and under which law it has detained Priyanka Gandhi in Chunar guest house.

Priyanka Gandhi had on Friday gone to meet the families of those killed in what is being called as Sonbhadra massacre where a village Pradhan and his men killed 10 Gond tribals including three women and injured around 40 in indiscriminate firing over a land dispute. However, the police detained her at Chunar guest house.

On Saturday though members of the bereaved families came over to Chunar to meet Priyanka Gandhi at the Chunar guest house, but the police allowed only five of them to meet her.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday accused the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of “misleading” the country about the Sonbhadra incident at a press conference the previous day.

“The actual facts and the timeline of the incidents are as follows,” he said.

1. October 19, 2017: Yogi Adityanath government illegally transferred the tribals’ land to the village Pradhan Yagya Dutt Gurjar

2. July 24, 2018: To pressurise the tribals to let go of the land’s possession the police registered cases against the members of the tribal families under Sections 506/554/447 of the IPC.

3. October 29, 2018: More criminal cases registered against the tribals at the behest of Yagya Dutt’s nephew Rajkumar Singh and his relative Sonu Kumar.

4. July 6, 2019: The district administration of the Adityanath government rejected the tribals’ pleas challenging the illegal transfer of their land to Yagya Dutt.

5. July 17, 2019: Around 200 persons armed with firearms and lathis come to take possession of the land. Ten persons are killed and 48 injured as tribals resist the attempt to grab their land.

6. July 19, 2019: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was peacefully going to meet the bereaved tribal families is illegally arrested and kept at Chunar guest house.

“Instead of taking action against the culprits of the carnage, the state government has turned the Umbha village into a garrison and the police are not allowing anyone to enter or come out of the village. Why are Opposition leaders not being allowed to go there? For what reasons can the Congress general secretary not meet the tribal families?” Surjewala said.

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Published: 20 Jul 2019, 2:43 PM