Congress leaders allowed to enter Hathras to meet rape victim’s family

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with other leaders are en route to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to meet the family of the 20-year-old Dalit woman.

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Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with other leaders are en route to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to meet the family of the 20-year-old woman who was allegedly gang-raped and murdered last month – and whose body was secretly cremated by the UP police without the family’s consent.

After Gandhi’s and other Congress leaders had crossed the UP border, the police resorted to a mild lathi-charge to shoo the crowd. This is the Congress MP’s second attempt to reach Hathras – the first, on Thursday, ended in them being mishandled by UP police.

The police had been given definite instructions to not allow Congress leaders to cross the UP border. Visuals shared online by ANI showed a massive police presence at the DND area, leading many to question where the cops were when such a heinous crime needed their attention.

Mr Gandhi departed from Delhi at around 2.30 pm, accompanied by around 30 Congress MPs, including Shashi Tharoor. They wanted to meet the family of the woman, who have been left seriously traumatised by the assault and alleged inaction of the government.

“Nothing in the world can stop me from going to Hathras to meet this unhappy family to share their pain,” Mr Gandhi tweeted this morning. “If not this time, then we will try again,” Mrs Gandhi Vadra told news agency ANI before leaving.

“They are violating Section 144 (orders banning large gatherings). We are deployed here to control the unlawful assembling of people. We are appealing for peace amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” Noida ADCP Ranvijay Singh had told ANI.

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