LUCKNOW: Reaching out to ‘victims’ of the anti-CAA stir including the BHU students who were jailed during the protests, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Friday, assured them in Varanasi that if the party returned to power at the Centre, it would not implement such laws which, she claimed, were against the spirit of the Constitution and had created so much unrest across the nation.
Arriving in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency early on Friday morning, the Congress leader met a host of activists who were arrested during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Bajardiha locality. A number of activists and BHU students were arrested for anti-CAA protests at Benia area of Varanasi on December 19 last year. They were recently released on bail. Notably, an eight-year-old kid had died in the stampede during the anti-CAA protests in the holy city on December 19.
The Congress leader also exhorted the people to take to the streets in large numbers to oppose any law which did not conform to the Constitution of the country. She pledged support to farmers, workers, youth and students in the fight for their rights. Priyanka Gandhi also announced that her party would set up a legal cell which would extend legal help to the anti-CAA protestors who were sent to jail and slapped with serious charges across the country.
The Congress general secretary also met an activist couple Ekta Shekhar Singh and her husband Ravi Shekhar at Rajghat. The couple, who have an 18-month daughter, were arrested and jailed for 15 days after the anti-CAA protests. “I have come to know about their agony and the sufferings of their little daughter
who had to live without her parents for so long. They were put in jail on serious charges but I am happy that they fought for the nation,” said Priyanka after meeting the couple.
She also met a Dalit worker Anup Sharmik, a group of BHU students and others at Shrimath temple where she arrived by boat. The Congress leader also met the family of eight-year-old Mohammad Sageer, who succumbed to the injuries he received in a stampede after police baton-charged the anti-CAA protesters in
Bajardiha area on December 20 last year.
Earlier, the Congress leader’s first stop in the temple town was Sant Ravidas’ temple at Rajghat, where she offered prayers and met the trustees. She then took a boat to Panchganga Ghat where she met people who agitated against the amended citizenship act.
More than 20 people were killed and hundreds injured in Uttar Pradesh as police and protesters clashed last month after the situation spiralled out of control in several areas in the state.
Priyanka’s four-hour visit to the holy city culminated at Kashi Vishwanath temple where she paid obeisance before leaving for Jaipur in the afternoon.