iNDICA NEWS BUREAU
The outrage and political jostling over the death of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, after she was allegedly gang-raped by four upper-caste men and her tongue cut off, continued in India Monday.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi (seen in photograph above being stopped by UP police) accused the BJP of campaigning against the victim, who died September 29 and whose body was allegedly cremated by police and authorities without the consent of the family.
Priyanka asked the government whether it would order a judiciary probe in the case and when it will take action against the district magistrate, who has been caught ion camera allegedly pressuring the family to change their statement to the police.
“Yesterday, the Chief Minister of UP spoke to solve problems through dialogue. So will they listen to the victim’s family? When to act on Hathras DM? When to order a judicial inquiry? The first step to justice is to listen to the victim girl. The reality is that BJP is still campaigning against the girl,” Priyanka tweeted Monday.
Two days ago, Priyanka and her brother, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, reached Hathras after the UP administration allowed batches of five persons to meet the victim’s family.
The police in Noida — on the outskirts of Delhi — which is in Uttar Pradesh seemed to apologize Monday, a day after Indian news publications carried photographs of male policemen manhandling Priyanka Gandhi.
“@noidapolice profoundly regrets the incident @priyankagandhi while handling an unruly crowd at the DND. The DCP HQ has taken suomotto cognizance of it & ordered an inquiry to be conducted by a senior Lady officer. We @noidapolice are committed to ensure safety & dignity of women,” The Noida police said in a tweet Monday.
In Hathras, the victim’s brother said the family would not immerse the ashes.
“How do we know it was my sister they burnt?” news agency IANS quoted one of the two brothers of the victim as saying Monday.
“We did not even see her face. I collected the ashes on grounds of humanity because it must have been someone’s body if not my sister’s and I did not want the ashes to be trampled upon,” he added.
The brother further said that they will not submit to a narco-polygraph test as they are not the ones who are lying.
“They should conduct these truth tests on the accused and the policemen who are trying to twist the narrative,” he said.
The beeline of Opposition politicians to Hathras continued. A video emerged Monday, showing Trinamool Congress member of Parliament Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar berating a posse of policemen, apparently there to ward off anyone from entering the victim’s village.
“Have you no shame? A girl was raped and murdered, you did nothing, now you are preventing people from meeting her family?” Ghosh Dastidar was heard saying in the video.
The Uttar Pradesh government has come under intense criticism, especially after the victim’s family alleged that the Hathras district administration and cops had virtually confined them at home and taken away their cellphones.
The Uttar Pradesh government of chief minister Yogi Adityanath has, meanwhile, alleged there is an “international conspiracy” to defame it.
The state government has registered an ‘open’ police report under 20 different sections at the Chandapa police station in Hathras against unnamed persons for “conspiring to create caste tensions and destabilise the Yogi Adityanath government,” IANS reported.
Multiple news organizations in India have reported gatherings of Thakur community men in Hathras in support of the four arrested accused in the gang-rape and murder case.
With inputs from ANI & IANS