Alleging there is “no rule of law” in Uttar Pradesh, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Tuesday said his party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s detention is “totally illegal”.
The former Home Minister Chidambaram alleged that the police in the state is working on the orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Vadra was detained in Sitapur on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri where eight people were killed on Sunday.
While four of the dead in Sunday's incident were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, the others included BJP workers and their driver who were allegedly lynched.
In a statement, Chidambaram said, the facts and circumstances concerning Gandhi's detention in Sitapur "conclusively establish that there is no rule of law in UP".
"She was 'arrested' at 4.30 am on Monday, 4th October. She has been detained in the PAC guest house at Sitapur. The District Collector and the judicial magistrate concerned are both stationed in Sitapur. Her arrest and detention are totally illegal and an abuse of power," he said.
"The arresting police officer told her she was arrested under Section 151 of the CrPC. Any person arrested under S. 151 cannot be detained for more than 24 hours, unless there is an order of the judicial magistrate under any other provision of law," Chidambaram said.
She has been in detention for more than 30 hours and has not been produced before a judicial magistrate, he pointed out.
"There is no order of any judicial magistrate. Her constitutional rights under Articles 19 and 21 have been grossly violated. Her 'arrest' violated several provisions of the CrPC," he said.
Chidambaram underlined that no woman can be arrested after sunset or before sunrise and Gandhi was arrested at 4.30 am, "which is illegal".
"She was arrested by a male police officer -- which is illegal. There was no memorandum of arrest and it was not served upon her and her signature was not taken - which is illegal," Chidamabram said.
"Law and Order in UP seem to mean Mr Adityanath's law and Mr Adityanath's order. The police in UP seem to be not obeying the law but are carrying out Mr Adityanath's law and Mr Adityanath's order," he charged.
Chidambaram asserted that this was "grossly illegal and utterly shameful".
The Congress party strongly condemns the alleged high-handed and unconstitutional acts of the UP government and police, he said in his statement.(With PTI inputs)