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CRPF blames Priyanka Gandhi for scooter ride, denies security breach

The force, which provides her armed commandos under the 'Z+' category of security cover to her, said the Congress leader undertook "unscheduled" movement without intimation.

Published: 30th December 2019 12:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2019 05:45 PM   |  A+A-

AICC general-secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra salute during the flag hoisting ceremony on party's 135th foundation day at UPCC HQ in Lucknow

AICC general-secretary Priyanka Gandhi (File Photo| PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has found Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, allegedly violating three counts of security norms, while giving a slip to cops to reach the house of arrested retired police officer-turned activist SR Darapuri last Saturday in Lucknow.

As per a statement issued on Monday, the CRPF authorities not only advised the Congress general secretary to be more careful in future but also rebutted the charges levelled by her against UP police officer Abhay Mishra. The Congress general secretary had accused Mishra, the circle officer of Hazratganj, of entering the premises of the bungalow in Lucknow where she was staying without permission alleging a breach of protocol.

In fact, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Z-plus category protectee and her security is the responsibility of CRPF.

However, when the Congress general secretary was asked about an alleged breach of security norms by her, she scoffed as an insignificant issue.

The Congress leader’s office had complained that Abhay Mishra got into a heated exchange of words with CRPF personnel on the detail of her programme and threatened not to let her take even “two steps” out of the premises.

The CRPF statement said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s programme for December 28 was shared with UP Police a day earlier. The programme had the mention of just one visit of Gandhi to the Congress headquarters in Lucknow for the party’s foundation function.

“Circle officer Hazaratganj, Abhay Mishra, visited the place of Gandhi’s stay to enquire about her detailed programme of the day on the morning of December 28. The detailed programme was not communicated by the personal staff of the Congress leader to the local police, said the CRPF statement issued by CRPF’s Inspector General Pankaj Kumar Singh.  It, however, claimed that  there was no breach in security by the police official.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to UP state capital Lucknow turned controversial on Saturday after she attempted to visit the house of a retired IPS officer SR Darapuri who had been arrested during the protests against the citizenship law on December 20.

The local police had stopped Priyanka Gandhi’s vehicle when she took a different route from the one prescribed in her programme. She gave the police a slip, and according to a local Congress leader, walked for a few km and rode pillion on a scooty with a state Congress leader. She did eventually reach Darapuri’s house.

In her statements to the media later, Priyanka Gandhi had also accused the female police official of manhandling her. However, it was vehemently denied by Dr
Archana Singh, Additinal SP, the police officer concerned who was deployed as Gandhi’s security incharge.

The CRPF statement also elaborated on three security violations by Priyanka Gandhi on December 28. The ride on a scooty was one of them. “Unscheduled movement of the protectee without intimation as such ASL (advanced security liaison) could not be conducted. The protectee used non-BR (bullet-resistant) civil vehicle without PSO (personal security officer) and the protectee took a lift in scooty as a pillion rider,” said the CRPF statement.

Despite these security constraints, appropriate security cover was provided by CRPF during the visit, the statement said, adding that such security violations were conveyed to the protectee.

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