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Posted at: Aug 14, 2019, 7:01 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2019, 7:07 AM (IST)

J&K special status scrapped unconstitutionally: Priyanka

Visits Sonbhadra village where 10 tribals were shot over land dispute

Sonbhadra (UP), August 13

In her first reaction to the scrapping of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today said it was done in an unconstitutional manner.

"The manner in which it has been done is totally unconstitutional and against the principles of democracy," she told reporters at Umbha, the village where 10 tribals were shot dead over a land dispute in July.

"There are rules that have to be followed when such things are done, which have not been followed," she said. The Congress general secretary said her party always stood for safeguarding the Constitution. "Unlike the BJP where only one voice is heard, in the Congress every voice is given importance and properly discussed to reach a conclusion," she said.

Keeping her promise with villagers, Priyanka reached Umbha village in Sonbhadra today to meet the family of 10 Gond tribals who were gunned down by a group of men led by a former village pradhan when they resisted an attempt to take control of the disputed land on July 17.

Last month, the UP administration had prevented her from going to the massacre site by detaining her in Mirzapur. Shortly after arriving at the Varanasi airport this morning, she tweeted, "Today, I am going to Sonbhadra to meet the brothers-sisters and children of Umbha village, enquire about their well-being and to be part of their struggle. I had promised the members of affected families of Umbha village, who had come to meet me at Chunar Fort, that I will visit them."

UP Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma, however, said Priyanka should "repent" in Umbha. "The root cause of the Sonbhadra incident can be traced to the Congress. She should go there to repent (paschataap) the act of former Congress leaders. After so many days, when action has already been initiated into the incident, this is only a political stunt," he said. On July 21, four days after the shooting incident, CM Yogi Adityanath had visited the area and he too had pinned the blame on the previous Congress dispensations for the land dispute, suggesting that it had been lingering on since 1952. — TNS/PTI

‘All heard in Cong’

}There are rules that have to be followed when such things (abrogation of Article 370) are done, which have not been followed. Congress always stood for safeguarding the Constitution. Unlike the BJP where only one voice is heard, in the Congress every voice is given importance and properly discussed to reach a conclusion. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Cong Gen Secy

‘It’s just a political stunt’

The root cause of the Sonbhadra incident can be traced to Congress. She (Priyanka) should go there to repent (paschataap) the act of former Congress leaders. After so many days, when action has already been initiated into the incident, this is only a political stunt. Dinesh Sharma, UP Deputy CM

‘Stop shedding crocodile tears’

According to the victims of the Sonbhadra case, first the land mafia of Congress and SP grabbed their land, following which many of the tribals were killed… Instead of shedding crocodile tears, the SP and Congress leaders should now come forward to restore the land to the tribals so that this could be corrected. Mayawati, BSP President

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