The gangrape, murder and hurried cremation of a 19-year-old Dalit girl has sparked a political slugfest in India, with many political leaders making a beeline to the victim's village in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras but to no avail. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was stopped by the police at Yamuna expressway while he was enroute to Hathras on Thursday, will yet again make an attempt today. Meanwhile, media has now been allowed inside the village.
Speaking to India TV, the family members of the Hathras gangrape victim accused the authorities of negligence. "We do not want financial compensation over the incident, we want justice for our daughter," the father of the victim told India TV reporters. Further, the family of the victim also said they were initially being stopped from talking to the media.
"The police and authorities forcibly burnt the body of my daughter," the victim's father said, adding, "we want action against them."
"Why was my sister burnt?", brother of the Hathras gangrape victim asked while speaking to India TV reporters.Sadar SDM Prem Prakash: "Only media is allowed right now. When orders come in to allow delegations, we will let everybody know. All allegations about phones of the family members being taken away or confining them in their homes are absolutely baseless."
- Sadar SDM Prem Prakash: "Since SIT probe in the village is complete, the restriction on media has been lifted. More than 5 media persons are now allowed to gather as Section 144 of CrPC is in place."
- Rahul Gandhi-led Congress delegation comprising MPs to meet the victim's family today.
- Media has been permitted to visit the Hathras victim's village.
Political slugfest continues
A Trinamool Congress delegation led by Derek O'Brien was stopped on Friday from meeting the victim’s family and its members alleged they were pushed around by officials. Samajwadi Party workers took out a protest in Lucknow, and were lathi-charged by police. There were protests also in Aligarh, Mathura and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Students, civil rights activists and political workers gathered at Delhi's Jantar Mantar in the evening. Several political leaders, including from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Left, joined the protest.
On Thursday, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police in Greater Noida while they were on their way to Hathras.
According to the family, the woman was gangraped in a brutal assault on September 14 that left her with severe injuries. She died at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday. What followed next only fueled the matter and raised doubts over the role of the police. The girl was cremated in the middle of the night with family members claiming that police ignored their pleas to bring the body home one last time.
Amid a nationwide outrage, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday suspended the Hathras SP and four other police officers over their handling of the gangrape-murder case.