Punjab Congress leader Navjot Sidhu was the latest opposition to be detained after he led a protest in Chandigarh against the death of eight persons, including four farmers, in Sunday’s violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government denied permission to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to visit the violence-hit district in Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab government had today urged the Uttar Pradesh government to allow Mr Channi’s chopper to land so that he can visit Lakhimpur Kheri. Earlier, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa too was denied permission to land at the Lucknow airport.
Mr Sidhu led a protest by Congress workers outside the residence of the Punjab Governor in Chandigarh, raising slogans against the centre over the new farm laws. He also demanded the arrest of Union Minister of State Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son for for allegedly running a car over protesting farmers.
Chandigarh Police detained Mr Sidhu and the Congress workers. Mr Sidhu’s protest comes nearly a week after he resigned as the Punjab Congress chief. He is now back on board after an agreement was reached with Mr Channi.
In what emerged as the latest flashpoint between the Yogi Adidyanath government and other parties, several opposition leaders – from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Akhilesh Yadav – have been stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri. The Uttar Pradesh government requested the Lucknow airport authority not to allow the arrival of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Sukhjinder S Randhawa. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), having been denied visitation rights, took it in its stride and decided to wait it out.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told NDTV that she was pushed and manhandled while being arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in the early hours of morning and she was not shown any papers either. She said she was told she was arrested under Section 151 on grounds that she was “going to commit a crime in future”.