Lucknow, Oct 01, 2020: Shocked by the recent incidents of rape with minor girls in Hathras, Azamgarh, Baghpat and Bulandshahr, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has sought answers from the BJP-led government of Uttar Pradesh. Both Priyanka and brother Rahul Gandhi are likely to leave for Hathras today to meet the family of the victim. Ahead of Gandhi’s visit, Hathras DM Praveen Kumar Laxkar said that the borders of the town have been sealed and section 144 has been imposed. Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati asked Centre to step in as she alleged that Yogi Adityanath’s UP government had failed to curb crime against women.
On Wednesday, Congress, Left and Bhim Army activists staged protests near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and India Gate in the national capital, demanding justice for a 19-year-old woman who died a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras. She was cremated in the dead of the night with family members alleging they were forced by police to hurriedly conduct the last rites, a charge that triggered further outrage.s
The police have booked the protesters, mostly students and women activists, for assembling in violation of prohibitory orders and Covid-19 guidelines, and detained some of them briefly.
The Left-affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA), which gave the call for a candlelight march at India Gate in the evening, alleged that the police forcibly removed the protesters from the spot and harassed and detained women, a charge denied by the police. Some Bhim Army activists also joined the protest near India Gate. In a call for candlelight vigil at India Gate, protesters demanding justice for the Dalit victim of gang rape in Hathras were brutally assaulted and detained by Delhi Police. The protesters were attacked, women members harassed and taken into custody," the AISA alleged.
The police said women protesters were not detained, but dropped off at their destination. The AISA claimed that women protesters were dropped off on a road near Jawaharlal Nehru University, even though they belonged to different institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambedkar University and Delhi University.
Thirty-two men have been detained for organizing an unauthorised protest on Man Singh Road near India Gate, police said. "A few female protesters who were part of the protesting group were removed from the spot. The protesters belonged to AISA and Bhim Army. Legal action under relevant sections of law is being taken," said Deepak Yadav, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi).
There were protests in neighbouring Ghaziabad as well. Activists of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Akhil Bhartiya Balmiki Samaj staged protests in some areas of Ghaziabad, demanding justice for the Dalit woman.
Here are all the latest updates in Hathras rape case:
* Appalled by more incidents of rape soon after the Hathras one, BSP chief Mayawati asked Centre to step in as she alleged that Yogi Adityanath’s UP government had failed to curb crime against women. "After Hathras incident, I hoped UP government would take action against people committing crimes against women. But a similar crime has been committed against a Dalit student in Balrampur. Under BJP’s UP government, criminals, mafias and rapists are having a free run. Centre should intervene," she said.
BSP supremo further held CM Yogi Adityanath responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. "Yogi was made CM under RSS pressure. BJP should take up the matter with the RSS," she said, adding that their the chief minister should be replaced or President’s rule be imposed.
* Hathras DM Praveen Kumar Laxkar says, "Borders of Hathras are sealed. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the district, more than five people are not allowed to gather. We’ve no information about Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. SIT will meet the victim’s family members today, media will not be allowed."
* Congress leaders said that a team of Akshya Mourya, Shivram Singh, Ritu Choudhry, Pramod Kumar and Pradeep Narwal will accompany Priyanka Gandhi to Hathras. Before her visit, security has been beefed up at Delhi’s DND flyover, where some Congress workers are protesting. Sources said that brother Rahul Gandhi and party veteran PL Punia may also accompany Priyanka.
* Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed BJP government over "jungle raj" in Uttar Pradesh. He said that BJP’s slogan is not to save girls but to hide facts and save power.
*The barbaric criminals will definitely be punished for their barbarism. The probe teams are carrying out the investigation. But I think there should not be political tourism on the same. Those who are trying to increase the tension through political tourism, should not do that. Everyone is saddened and want punishment for the culprits, Uttar Pradesh govt is working towards it. You will see the results soon," Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on rape incidents in Uttar Pradesh.
* "Have no words to condemn the barbaric and shameful incident at Hathras involving a young Dalit girl. My deepest condolences to the family. More shameful is the forceful cremation without the family’s presence or consent, exposing those who use slogans & lofty promises for votes," West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.