New Delhi: Dramatic scenes erupted at the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway after the police resorted to mild lathi charge over hundreds of Congress workers, compelling party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to come out and shield a party worker who was being baton charged by police personnel.
The UP Police resorted to lathi charge after the Congress workers refused to leave the DND flyway even after five Congress leaders were allowed to visit Hathras to meet the family members of the victim.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, after holding talks with police officials, climbed on the rooftop of his car to announce that five Congress leaders had been allowed to visit Hathras to meet the victim’s family.
But his request did not change the sentiments of party workers, who wanted to accompany him to Hathras. After the vehicle in which Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka were travelling reached the toll area of the DND, the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the massive crowd. Several Congress workers were injured in the sudden lathi charge.
Sensing that party workers were being baton charged by police personnel, Priyanka Gandhi came out of her vehicle and rushed into the crowd to shield a party worker.
Priyanka held the arm of the worker and pulled him near the divider of the toll gate. Rahul Gandhi rushed out of his car and brought a water bottle for him.
The two leaders then provided water to the party worker. Rahul then asked the worker, “kya hua” (what happened). To which the party worker responded that ‘bahot maara hai bhaiya’ (They’ve beaten me a lot).
The Congress leaders then made the injured party worker sit in their vehicle and proceeded on their journey.
Several Congress workers and media persons were also injured in the sudden lathi charge by the police.
Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar and Women’s Congress chief Sushmita Deb led the procession on the DND.
They climbed on the rooftop of a vehicle and raised slogans against the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath.
Following the travel plan of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi along with several party MPs to Hathras, hundreds of Congress workers arrived at the DND, that connects Delhi with Noida.
The Congress workers kept on raising slogans like ‘Jab jab Yogi darta hai, police ko aage karta hai’, ‘UP government murdabad’ etc.
The police closed all the lanes at the DND to prevent Congress leaders from entering Uttar Pradesh.
Following the massive deployment at the DND flayway, there was heavy traffic jam on the DND.
However, after orders from the administration, five Congress leaders were allowed to travel to Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old girl, who died on Tuesday at a government hospital.
On Saturday afternoon, while leaving from the party headquarters at Akbar Road, Priyanka Gandhi was seen driving the Toyota Innova car with Rahul Gandhi sitting by her side on the front seat.
However, she switched the seat and came back to the rear seat as there was a huge traffic jam on the DND.
It was Rahul and Priyanka’s second attempt to visit Hathras. On Thursday, Gandhi was pushed to the ground by Uttar Pradesh Police personnel when he was marching towards Hathras after their vehicles were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Gautam Budh Nagar.
The 19-year-old girl, who died on Tuesday at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, suffered fractures, paralysis and a spinal injury after the savage assault.
BY ANAND SINGH