BAREILLY: Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat and others were stopped by the district administration at the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand border as they arrived here on their way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet the families of the victims of violence during a farmers' protest that left eight people dead.
According to Bareilly Superintendent of Police (Rural) Rajkumar Agrawal, Rawat arrived here with a large number of people.
The police told him that he can pass through Bareilly with his securitymen to go to Lakhimpur Kheri, but he did not agree to this.
The former Uttarakhand chief minister insisted on going to Lakhimpur Kheri with his convoy and was stopped at the Baheri toll plaza, the border of Bareilly district and Uttarakhand, the SP said.
Rawat, Uttarakhand Congress chief Ganesh Godiyal and others sat on the highway with their supporters and raise slogans, he added.
They made attempts to enter Bareilly but due to the deployment of heavy police force, failed, the officer said, adding that Rawat was requested to proceed only with his securitymen but he did not relent and subsequently, went back to Uttarakhand.
Talking to reporters at the Baheri toll plaza, Rawat said, "Our struggle is dedicated to the deceased farmers.
We were going to meet the families of the farmers who lost their lives in this struggle for their democratic rights but were not allowed.
"Today, when the farmer raises his voice, he is crushed to death by a car and when (Congress leader) Priyanka Gandhi goes to meet the suffering farmers, she is arrested.
But those who are accused of killing the farmers are yet to be arrested by the police," he said, adding that democracy is in danger in the country.
Whoever raises his voice for his rights will either be killed or put in jail, the Congress leader said, adding that such atrocities did not take place even during the British era.