Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday met the family of the 19-year-old woman who died after she was brutally assaulted and allegedly gangraped. The two said they would continue their fight for justice, adding that no power could stifle the family’s voice, PTI reported.
The police allowed only five Congress leaders to visit Hathras after several MPs started their way to the Uttar Pradesh town on Saturday afternoon. This came after the Gandhis on Thursday were not allowed to meet the woman’s family.
Police personnel were heavily deployed on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, with barricades erected on the Delhi-Noida Direct flyway.
“INC leaders & MPs led by Shri @RahulGandhi & Smt. @priyankagandhi are on our way to Hathras,” Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal had tweeted. “@INCIndia will not stop until the Hathras victims family gets the justice they deserve.”
Rahul Gandhi had tweeted in the morning that no power in the world could stop him from visiting Hathras to meet the family of the woman.
Priyanka Gandhi called the Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh “morally corrupt”.
“The victim did not get treatment, her complaint was not registered on time, her body was forcibly cremated, the family is in captivity, they are being suppressed – now they are being threatened that they will have to undergo a narco test,” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. “This behaviour is not acceptable to the country. Stop threatening the victim’s family.”
Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi and Director General of Police HC Awasthi on Saturday met the family too. Meanwhile, the woman’s family demanded a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry, saying the Special Investigation Team was “hand in glove” with the accused.
On Thursday, the police had filed a case against Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, after detaining them on their way to Hathras and escorting them back to Delhi. Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien was pushed to the ground by the Uttar Pradesh Police, while other MPs from the party alleged they were touched and misbehaved with.
BJP leader Uma Bharti had on Friday asked Adityanath to allow politicians and mediapersons to visit Hathras. The BJP leader said that there is no law that prevents individuals from meeting the family of the complainant during an inquiry by a special investigation team. She said such a rule would in fact bring doubt upon the credibility of the SIT. Bharti also criticised the haste with which the woman’s body was cremated by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Four upper-caste Thakur men had tortured and raped the Dalit woman. She died on September 29 at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. She had suffered multiple fractures and other serious injuries when the four accused raped her in her village on September 14. The four men have been arrested. However, the woman was hastily cremated by the police, which has evoked shock and outrage across the country.
Adityanath has said that his government is committed to the safety of all women.