Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday criticised the Opposition for their protests against the gangrape and the subsequent forceful cremation of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras. He claimed the outrage over the incident was part of “conspiracies” to bring instability in the state.
“Those who do not like development, want to incite ethnic and communal riots,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi. “In the guise of these riots, they will get an opportunity to bake political loaves, so that they can devise new plots. We have to move the process of development rapidly by being fully alert to these conspiracies.”
“It is possible to solve the biggest problems through dialogue,” read another tweet.
He, however, added that the Uttar Pradesh Police has to be “sensitive and proactive” in dealing with cases related to women.
Amid mounting criticism, Adityanath had on Saturday recommended the Central Bureau of Investigation take over the case.
His administration has denied it was a caste-based crime – though four upper-caste Thakur men allegedly raped the woman – and has even denied the woman was raped, based on swab samples taken several days after the crime. The state police had also forcibly cremated her body while her family was locked in their home.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Sunday marched to meet the family of the Dalit woman. Azad, whose car was stopped about 20 km before Hathras by the police, demanded Y security cover for the family and an inquiry monitored by a retired Supreme Court judge.
This came a day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met members of the woman’s family. Vadra continued her attack on the Uttar Pradesh administration after and raised some of the family’s concerns, including demanding that a district magistrate who threatened the woman’s relatives be suspended immediately.