The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday registered a case against coronavirus-infected Aam Aadmi Party legislator Kuldeep Kumar for travelling to Hathras on October 4, five days after he tested positive, NDTV reported. Hathras’ superintendent of police said the MLA was charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
On September 29, Kumar announced he was isolating himself as he had contracted the Covid-19 infection. “Those who came in contact with me in the last two to three days, please get yourselves tested,” the MLA from Delhi’s Kondli, had tweeted.
Five days later, Kumar posted videos of him on Twitter, saying he was in Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who died after four upper-caste men from the Thakur community had brutally gangraped her. The MLA can be seen wearing a mask and walking towards the family’s house in the night.
In another video, Kumar can be seen sitting close to the family and talking to them. “Just returned after meeting the family of the Hathras victim,” he tweeted. “An atmosphere of fear in the family is being created. This is the murder of democracy and Constitution. In Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi-raj [Chief Minister Adityanath], there is no law but jungle -raj.”
The Aam Aadmi Party leader, however, denied the charge and said he visited Hathras only after his reports came back negative.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party and its IT cell which is spreading propaganda of lies that I went to Hathras after being positive, let me tell them that I went to Hathras only after my report came negative,” Kumar said, showing his medical report in a video message posted on Twitter.
The legislator accused the Uttar Pradesh government of deflecting attention from the case to shield the accused. “ If the BJP thinks that by spreading false propaganda, they will save the culprits, it will never succeed,” he said.
Four upper-caste Thakur men had brutally raped and tortured the woman, who died on September 29. The Uttar Pradesh administration had then hurriedly cremated her body against her family’s wishes while they had been locked inside their home, triggering outrage and protests. The state has denied she was raped, based on samples taken from her several days after the crime had occurred.