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Priyanka Gandhi skips CRPF cover on way to Lakhimpur Kheri

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other party leaders reach to meet the victims of the violence that erupted during a farmers' protest and claimed eight lives a day earlier, in Lakhimpur Kheri, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra blindsided her security detail on Sunday night, giving them a slip on at least three occasions before she was detained by the Uttar Pradesh police at Sitapur.

The Congress general secretary was stopped when she was on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri where four farmers were among eight persons killed in a protest on Sunday afternoon.

Ms. Vadra has been accorded Z-plus security cover by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in November 2019 after the Centre removed the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover of the Gandhi family.

The CRPF is likely to communicate to Ms. Vadra about the security violations committed by her which includes unscheduled movement, not using bulletproof resistant vehicles and absence of any personal security officer (PSO).

A senior government official said Ms.Vadra, who reached Lucknow from Delhi on Sunday evening, told the CRPF personnel that she would leave for Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday at 8 a.m.

“Instead, without informing the team, she started for Kheri in the night. She changed the cars thrice and the CRPF team lost her on all the occasions. They could reach her only after she had been detained by the police,” the official said.

According to protocol, the CRPF has to conduct advance security liaison and share details about movement of the protected individual with the local police for better coordination.

None of the CRPF personnel who were part of her proximate security ring were present when she was detained by the police at Sitapur, around 45 kilometres from Kheri.

In a video shared on social media handles of the Congress party, Ms. Vadra is seen arguing with policemen demanding to know on what grounds she was being stopped. At one point, when she saw few policemen pushing Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Deepender Hooda, who had accompanied her from Lucknow, she moved ahead to stop them.

After this, at the directions of a senior police officer, police women formed a ring around her to stop her from moving forward. A combative Ms Vadra is then heard telling the officer that Uttar Pradesh might not be governed by law but the nation still runs on rule of law.

Later in an interview with a Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar, Ms. Vadra said she was pushed around, the police tried to forcibly bundle her in a vehicle and none of the security personnel were there with her when she was detained.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 12:58:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/priyanka-gandhi-skips-crpf-cover-on-way-to-lakhimpur-kheri/article36830333.ece

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