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Opposition leaders meet Hathras victim's family, continue attack on UP govt

Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh faced more heat over the Hathras incident from leaders of several opposition parties who was allegedly gangraped and later died

Hathras case | Crime against women | Yogi Adityanath

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi/Lucknow 

Special Investigation Team (SIT) at the residence of the victim of Hathras incident | Photo: @ANI

The government in faced more heat on Sunday over the Hathras incident from leaders of several opposition parties, many of whom met the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and later died.

A Samajwadi Party delegation, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) vice-president Jayant Chaudhary and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekar Azaad visited the victim's house in a village in Hathras district and assured her family of all possible help.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra continued their attack on the UP government for its failure to take action against the accused, while their party announced that it will hold 'satyagraha' sit-ins across the country on Monday.

BSP supremo Mayawati accused the state government of "maintaining silence" rather than providing relief to the victim's family.

DMK President M K Stalin alleged that the safety of minorities, woman and the members of SC/ST community in UP was "generally a question mark".

The party said its Women's Wing led by its chief Kanimozhi will take out a candle light march towards the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Monday to demand justice for the Hathras victim.

Earlier during the day, SP alleged that its delegation members were stopped briefly at a toll plaza near Agra by police at the state government's behest when they were on their way to meet the family.

In a tweet in Hindi, the party described the "forcible stoppage" as "murder of democracy".

"Samajwadi(s) will stand with the aggrieved family in their fight for justice," it said.

The RLD in a press statement alleged that Chaudhary and party workers were lathicharged by police when they were on their way to Hathras to meet the victim's family.

Condemning the police action, RLD's UP unit president Masood Ahmed accused the BJP of trying to "suppress the opposition's voice.

RLD activists staged protests and blocked roads in different places in UP's Muzaffarnagar district against the police's baton charge on Chaudhary.

After meeting the aggrieved family, the Bhim Army chief demanded a time-bound inquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge into the alleged sexual assault, saying a CBI inquiry would be time consuming and would delay the process of justice.

"Whenever the voice of the opposition has to be suppressed, then the key of CBI is turned on. Under this government, the CBI is meant only for suppressing the voice of the opposition and create fear, Azaad told reporters.

He too was initially prevented by police from reaching Hathras. But later senior district officials allowed him to proceed with a few of his followers.

Azaad said the woman's family members should be provided with Y category security as they were feeling "very insecure" amid the atmosphere of "fear" in their village.

"If the state authorities do not provide adequate security to the victim's family, then I would have no option but to take them out of the village and keep them in my own house," he said.

Heavy security arrangements were made in the village as a precautionary measure keeping in view the caste tensions that prevail in the area.

The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped in a Hathras village by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday.

She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Sunday expressed concern over allegations that the Hathras district magistrate had threatened the Dalit victim's family.

"There have been serious allegations of the Hathras DM threatening the family of the victim. Despite this, the UP Government is maintaining silence, which is sad and extremely worrying, Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.

"The government has agreed for a CBI probe but with the DM staying there (Hathras), how can the matter be impartially probed? People are feeling apprehensive," she said.

Congress party announced that it will stage 'satyagraha' in the district headquarters of states across the country on Monday to demand justice for the victim.

Rahul Gandhi also attacked the BJP government in UP alleging no action was taken against those responsible for the woman's death.

While leading a tractor rally in Punjab against the three recently cleared farm legislations, Rahul said, I was in UP yesterday. A daughter of India was killed there and no action was taken against those responsible for her death. And the family of the victim was confined to their house.

He claimed that the victims were being targeted.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi demanded removal of the DM and a probe into his role in the matter.

In a tweet in Hindi, the she said, "According to the aggrieved family, the worst treatment meted out to them was by the district magistrate. Who is trying to save him? He should be immediately suspended, and his role in the entire matter should be probed. When the family is demanding a judicial probe, then why is noise over CBI probe and SIT probe is going on.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi had on Saturday visited the woman's family, two days after they were detained along with party leaders and workers and sent back to Delhi by the police that prevented them from reaching Hathras.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, October 05 2020. 07:01 IST