Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday, saying Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should have the decency to call the alleged gang rape and killing of a Dalit woman in Hathras district a tragedy. Gandhi, who is holding a series of tractor rallies under his ’Kheti Bachao Yatra’ in Punjab to protest the Centre’s new farm laws, also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has not spoken ”a word” on the Hathras incident.
”The CM of Uttar Pradesh should have the decency to say this is a tragedy and will look into it and will protect this family and this girl,” Gandhi told reporters here. He was asked by a reporter for his reaction over the UP government reportedly saying that there was an international conspiracy to defame it.
Yogi ji is entitled to his opinion. He is more than welcome to imagine whatever he wants to imagine. What I saw there was that a lovely girl was molested, her neck was broken, her family was threatened and the people who did it, no action was taken against them, he said. ”If Yogi ji sees it as an international conspiracy, well that is fine, that is his prerogative. What I saw was a tragedy, said Gandhi.
Before his tractor rallies, Gandhi visited the Hathras victim’s family on his second attempt after being dramatically stopped outside Delhi by UP police. Gandhi said he visited the family wanted them to know that they are not alone.
”A child is raped and murdered, but the whole administration attacks the family and country’s PM does not utter a word, he said. The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gangraped and brutalised in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on September 14. She died a fortnight later.
The victim was cremated near her home on September 30. But her family alleged they were forced by the local police to conduct her last rites in the dead of the night. Local police, however, said the cremation was done ”as per the wishes of the family”. The UP government has recommended a CBI probe and quoting an FSL report, it has denied the woman was raped. On Sunday, UP police lodged at least 19 FIRs on charges ranging from attempt to trigger caste conflict to sedition in connection with the incident.
In his address to BJP workers on Monday, Chief Minister Adityanath referred to recent incidents and said anarchist elements were trying to trigger communal and caste violence in the state..