AGRA: Congress general secretary and Uttar Pradesh in charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was stopped at the Lucknow-Agra expressway and detained by the police on Wednesday while she was heading to Agra to meet the family of a Dalit sanitation worker, who allegedly died in police custody on Tuesday night. The police stopped Priyanka, saying that the district magistrate of Agra has requested not to allow entry of any political personality due to law and order issues. Section 144 was imposed in Lucknow and Agra as well. However, she was later allowed to visit Agra with the permission of only four people accompanying her. Questioning the policeman who stopped her, Priyanka asked, “Someone has died, how can it be a law and order issue? This is too much, I cannot go out anywhere and should remain confined in Lucknow’s guest house to praise you.” After she was stopped, Priyanka tweeted: “Arun Valmiki died in police custody. His family is seeking justice. I want to visit that family. What is the UP government so afraid of? Why am I being stopped? Today is Lord Valmiki Jayanti… PM Modi has been propagating Buddha’s philosophy but has been attacking the very essence of it”. Earlier in the day, Priyanka had tweeted: “Was it justice to beat a person to death? The death of Arun Valmiki in police custody is a condemnable incident. High level probe should be conducted, action should be taken against the cops and compensation should be given to the victim’s family.” Earlier this month, Priyanka was detained by UP police while travelling to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of farmers who were killed in the October 3 violence. However, she was later allowed to meet the families of the farmers. Congress workers reached the spot and raised anti-government slogans. State Congress committee president Ajay Lallu, who accompanied Priyanka Gandhi, was pushed back by the police when he tried to confront them. He later tweeted that the Congress party will not tolerate highhandedness and will never step back. Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav also tweeted, saying: “How can crime be stopped, if police itself commit crime under the BJP regime?” He further said that Rs 25 lakh was stolen with conspiracy and later the sanitation worker was shockingly killed in police custody to hide the truth. Strict action should be taken against the “murderer” cops, he said. Dalit leader and Bahujan Samajwadi party chief Mayawati also tweeted about the incident saying that sanitation worker’s death in police custody is heartbreaking and shameful. The party demanded strict action against the culprits and state government’s help for the victim’s family.

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