Congress and Samajwadi Party workers on Saturday protested against the gangrape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, last month, shouting anti-government slogans at Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani in Varanasi, PTI reported. Congress workers attempted to block Irani’s cavalcade.

The Congress workers began their blockade of Irani’s cavalcade after she made comments criticising the Opposition party, The Quint reported. “I cannot stop a leader in a democratic nation but people understand that their visit to Hathras is for their politics and not for justice to the victim,” she said, referring to Congress leader’s Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the rape complainant’s town. “People are aware of the Congress’ tactics, that’s why they ensured a historic win for the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] in 2019 elections.”

The protesting workers chanted “Smriti Irani go back” and “we want justice”. Congress Spokesperson Lalan Kumar said the workers were later arrested.

Irani was in Varanasi to hold a dialogue with farmers and agriculture scientists, PTI reported. But she faced a protest by the Samajwadi Party women’s wing when she reached the venue of the event. Irani told the Samajwadi Party workers that their concerns would be heard.

Irani told the media that the Congress was merely indulging in politics in connection with the Hathras gangrape.

“I have myself talked to the Chief Minister [Adityanath] and also seen that an SIT [special investigation team] has been constituted and action has already been taken against the superintendent of police of the district,” Irani said. “I believe that action will be taken against all those who interfered or conspired to see that the victim does not get justice once the report of the SIT is received.”

Four upper-caste Thakur men had tortured and raped a Dalit woman on September 14. 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. The four men have been arrested. However, the woman was hastily cremated by the police against the requests of her family, which has evoked shock and outrage across the country.