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Priyanka Gandhi in Varanasi, meets activists held during CAA protests

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday reached Varanasi to meet those who were arrested during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Priyanka Gandhi is expected to meet around 59 people, including social activists and students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), who were jailed for anti-CAA protest at Benia area of Varanasi on December 19 last year. They were recently released on bail.

The Congress leader’s first stop in the temple town was Sant Ravidas’ temple at Rajghat, where she offered prayers and met the trustees. She then took a boat to Panchganga Ghat where she will meet the people who agitated against the amended citizenship act.

Among the people she will meet will be 18-month old Champak’s social activist parents Ekta Shekhar and Ravi Shekhar at Rajghat, sources in the party said, adding that she would also address them.

“Several students, Gandhians, Ambedkarwadis, and social activists were protesting peacefully against the CAA in Varanasi recently. Police has sent them all to jail. A one-year child is alone at home. Such harsh punishment for peaceful protest! This behaviour of the government has gone beyond limits,” Priyanka Gandhi had tweeted on December 24 in Hindi, criticising the Uttar Pradesh government’s crackdown on anti-CAA protests.

The Congress leader will also meet the family of eight-year-old Mohammad Sageer, who succumbed to the injuries he received in a stampede after police baton-charged the anti-CAA protesters in Bajadiha area on December 20 last year.

She has been meeting the families of those injured, killed or arrested during the violent protests against the act across the northern state.

More than 20 people were killed and hundreds injured in Uttar Pradesh as police and protesters clashed last month after the situation spiralled out of control in several areas in the state.

She will also hold a meeting with the party workers to draw a strategy further expansion of the Congress across eastern UP.

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