Rahul Gandhi arrested amid high drama

Rahul Gandhi arrested amid high drama

Gandhi, who spent nearly 19 hours at Bhatta Parasul the epicentre of the farmers' agitation, was arrested under Sec 151 CrPC.

"He will be presented before a Sub-Divisional Magistrate tomorrow," Inspector General of Police (Meerut Range) Rajnikant Mishra said.

Gandhi was taken away from the dharna site in Bhatta Parsaul Village in a grey Tata Safari ostensibly to an undisclosed location.

The Amethi MP smiled to the large battery of media before getting into the vehicle along with AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and other Congress leaders.

At late night press conference in Lucknow, UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh that Gandhi will be released outside the state border tomorrow.

He claimed that the situation in Bhatta Parasaul was calm and attempts were being made to vitiate the atmosphere there.

The UP Cabinet Secretary said there were no prohibitory orders in force in Bhatta Parasaul since this morning as the orders were in place till only May 10.

Singh said prohibitory orders were re-imposed in the area after Congress leaders sought permission from the state authorities to hold a rally in the village.

Congress promptly attacked Mayawati for Gandhi's arrest with AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi saying UP has witnessed "the cruellest rule of several imperialistic regimes".

"UP government's action in arresting Rahul Gandhi proves that Mayawati is digging her own grave," Dwivedi said.

"If any sense of justice is left in the government, judicial inquiry is the minimum that the state government should order immediately," he said.

Slipping into Batta Parsaul village in the wee hours riding pillion on a motorcyle, Gandhi sat with the agitating farmers throughout the day in scorching heat to empathise with their cause and women who lost their men.

"I feel ashamed to call myself Indian after seeing what has happened here. The (state) government here has unleashed atrocities on its own people," he told the farmers.

Even as he sat on a dharna, a war of words erupted, with BJP terming it as a "drama" and wanting to know why the UPA government was still not acting on his earlier promise of bringing Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament.

The Congress, on its part, said it was keen to get on early passage of the bill in Parliament.

Gandhi said he associated with them as they were demanding their "right" and there was "nothing wrong" in it.

"I want to tell you that I am with you till your demands are met. Till your work is not done, the Congress party will not desert you," he said to a thunderous applause from the gathering which shouted slogans hailing him.

Gandhi was later taken to Kasna police station in Greater Noida. Clashes had broken out between the police and agitating farmers on Saturday in Bhatta Parsaul in which four people, including two policemen, were killed.

Gandhi was in the village supporting farmers who are agitating for higher compensation for land acquired for the 156-km Yamuna Expressway, linking New Delhi with Agra.

Gandhi said, "I have not been shown any arrest orders. So, I don't know what is their basis (for my arrest)," he told reporters at the police station.

"They have arrested me under Sec.151 CrPc and they are not showing us any documentation. So, I want to see the documentation under which I am being arrested," he said.

IG Meerut Rajnikant Misra said since Gandhi has refused to take bail,"we are moving him out to another location.


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