A delegation of Trinamool Congress MPs was Friday stopped from entering Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh, where they had gone to meet the family of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and assaulted by upper caste men on September 14 and succumbed to her injuries on September 29.
The party claimed the MPs — Derek O’Brien, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Mamata Thakur — had been stopped by the Uttar Pradesh police 1.5 kilometres away from the victim’s village. They were hoping to “express solidarity with the grieving family and convey their condolences”, the party said. Follow Hathras Protests Live Updates
“We are peacefully proceeding to Hathras to meet the family and pay our condolences. We are traveling individually and maintaining all protocols. We are not armed. Why are we stopped? What kind of jungle raj is this that elected MPs are prevented from meeting a grieving family,” asked one of the MPs.
Visuals of the incident show police personnel shoving the MPs who tried to continue their journey on foot.
The incident comes a day after the UP Police barred Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from entering Hathras, and later arrested them. Rahul, too, had a scuffle with police on Thursday, and had even fallen to the ground in the melee.
Several Opposition parties have condemned the manner in which the case has been handled. Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad Friday said his party would hold a protest at 5 pm at India Gate in the national capital to question the Prime Minister’s silence over the case.
AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and NCP leader Supriya Sule are among leaders who have targeted the UP government over the case.
Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the case, and directed senior officials of the state government and the police to be present before it at the next hearing on October 12.
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