CAA protest: Priyanka meets affected families in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut
Muzaffarnagar/Meerut (UP): Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday met the families affected by alleged "police excesses" and violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar districts of western Uttar Pradesh.
"Police have to protect the people, give them justice, but what has happened here is entirely opposite," Priyanka Gandhi, who had earlier visited affected families in Lucknow and Bijnor, told reporters.
The Congress general secretary, during her unscheduled visit to Muzaffarnagar, met Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini who was allegedly beaten up by the police in its crackdown on violent anti-CAA protests. She was accompanied by Imran Masood, a party leader from Saharanpur.
Priyanka Gandhi said Hussaini was in a madrassa with children when the police assaulted him. Many were "put in jail, including minors," she said, adding some have been released.
She also visited the residence of Noor Mohammed, who was killed in violence during the protests.
"It's heart-wrenching. His wife who is seven months pregnant and has one-and-a-half-year-old daughter is left all alone," she said.
"Wherever injustice has happened, we will stand by the people and help them in whatever way possible," the Congress leader said.
She also met Ruqaiya Parveen, whose house was allegedly ransacked by the police.
The Congress leader said she has highlighted each and every "police excess" in a lengthy memorandum to Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel during her visit to the state last week.
"It has all the details of how police has assaulted people without any reason. If there is any wrongdoing, then police should take action. No one can object to it.
"But here the police is indulging in vandalism... the girl was about to get married in two days, she has 16 stitches (on her forehead)," she said.
In neighbouring Meerut district, the affected families assembled at one place on the outskirts of the town to meet the Congress leader where she listened to their problems.
The UP Police had stopped Priyanka Gandhi and her brother and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi from entering Meerut town on December 24, citing prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC, as a result of which they had to return to Delhi without meeting the affected families.
At least five people were killed during the protests in Meerut.
Earlier, Priyanka had met the families of those killed in clashes in Bijnor.
On December 28, Priyanka Gandhi alleged that she was manhandled by police personnel when she tried to resist their attempts to stop her from visiting the Lucknow residence of retired IPS officer SR Darapuri, who was arrested in connection with the anti-CAA protests.
Later, the Congress leader met the family of party worker Sadaf Zafar and alleged that she was arrested on "baseless" charges by the police.