A massive protest erupted in Delhi on Friday evening after a number of civil society activists, students, women, and political leaders gathered at Jantar Mantar against the alleged gangrape of a young woman in Hathras district and the UP government's response to it.
As pressure mounted on UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he later in the evening suspended the SP, DSP, inspector and some others officials, based on the preliminary investigation report. He also ordered narco polygraph tests on the now-suspended top officers.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and their supporters came to Jantar Mantar in protest against the UP government, and also the central government, for what they say not doing enough to stop crime against women.
Wearing masks and raising slogans against the UP administration, they demanded justice for the 19-year-old victim and asked Adityanath to resign.
The protest was to be held at India Gate initially but had to shifted to Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in place in the Rajpath area. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, politburo member Brinda Karat and CPI General Secretary D Raja were also among the leaders present at the site. They questioned the silence of the central government over the issue.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) President and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would to lead a protest march in Kolkata on Saturday against the gangrape incident. Earlier on Friday, the party alleged its MP Pratima Mandal was manhandled and pushed by a senior district official when she was on her way to Hathras to the meet the woman’s family.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Twitter accused the UP government of taking to brutality to hide the truth of the Hathras incident and alleged the family members of the victim were being beaten up, a behaviour which no Indian can support. Most Opposition politicians and other politicians said they were outraged over the way UP police cremated the body of the victim, who died in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four upper caste men.
The woman's family has alleged that the police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night. But local police officers have said the cremation was carried out “according to the wishes of the family”.