Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was denied permission to visit Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri today, the state government announced, amid its efforts at blocking many opposition leaders, including his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who have made a beeline for the district where eight people were killed in Sunday's violence.
In a letter written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Congress had said a five-member delegation led by Rahul Gandhi planned to visit the district. It also called the detention of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "without any reason or justification".
A delegation of Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi, party leader KC Venugopal and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot will reach state capital Lucknow around 1:30 pm.
The permission for the visit was denied soon after with the state government citing orders banning large gatherings, news agency ANI reported.
Ms Gandhi Vadra, a Congress general secretary, on Tuesday alleged that she was being held illegally at a police compound in Sitapur and no notice or FIR has been provided to her even after her 38-hour detention and was not allowed to meet her legal counsel.
In a statement, she said she has not been produced in front of a magistrate or any other judicial officer and neither has she been allowed to meet her legal counsel, who has been standing at the gate of the compound since morning.
"Presently I am not going into the details of the completely illegal physical force used on my colleagues and me at the time of my arrest as this statement serves merely to clarify the continuing illegality of my confinement at the PAC compound in Sitapur, UP," she said.
"I have not been served with any order or notice. Nor have they shown me an FIR. I have not been produced in front of a magistrate or any other judicial officer either. I have also not been allowed to meet my legal counsel who has been standing at the gate since morning," the Congress leader also said.
Ms Gandhi Vadra has been kept in detention since Monday morning after she wanted to meet the families of the victims of the Lakhimpur clashes.
She said she has seen a portion of a paper on social media in which the authorities have named 11 people, including eight who were not even present at the time she was arrested.
They have even named the two persons "who brought my clothes from Lucknow on the afternoon of October 4", she said.
Eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest in Lakhimpur Kheri, claiming the lives of both farmers and BJP workers ahead of a visit by UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Four of the dead were people in the cars, apparently part of a convoy of BJP workers who had come to welcome the UP minister and were attacked after allegedly running over the protesting farmers.