Manipur: Rahul stuck for hours at Bishnupur after police stop convoy fearing attack

Imphal: Congress alleges BJP govts of using “autocratic methods” to stall Gandhi’s visit

BY | Thursday, 29 June, 2023

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s convoy remains stuck at Bishnupur after his convoy was stopped by the Manipur police on Thursday, amid allegations by the party that the BJP-led government is trying to thwart the leader’s visit to the ethnic strife-torn state.

Gandhi’s convoy which was travelling to Churachandpur to visit relief camps in the area, was stopped by the police at Bishnupur, about 20 kilometres from the state capital. He had earlier in the day landed at Imphal from Delhi.

Police officials said the convoy was stopped fearing violence along the route.

“There is a security threat. We cannot take the risk of allowing Rahul Gandhi to proceed,” a senior police official said.

The Congress, however, alleged that the BJP governments at the Centre and the state are using “autocratic methods” to stall the visit of Gandhi.

The “double-engine disastrous governments are using autocratic methods to stall a compassionate outreach by Shri Rahul Gandhi. This is totally unacceptable and shatters all constitutional and democratic norms,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it is “most unfortunate” that the Modi government is preventing Gandhi from visiting relief camps and interact with the people outside Imphal.

“His 2-day visit to Manipur is in the spirit of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The prime minister may choose to remain silent or be inactive but why stop Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to listen to all sections of the Manipuri society and provide a healing touch,” Ramesh asked.

The party’s state president Keisham Meghachandra alleged that the order to stop Gandhi’s convoy came from Chief Minister N Biren Singh as “everyone was welcoming him”.

Police sources said tyres were burnt on the highway near Utlou village in Bishnupur district and a few stones were thrown at the convoy.

“We fear a repetition of such events and hence as a precaution, requested the convoy to halt at Bishnupur,” a police officer told PTI.

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