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Hathras woman’s death: Just want justice, says father; Oppn targets UP govt

As protesters raised slogans against the Uttar Pradesh government, the woman's father told The Indian Express: “We just want justice, that is all.”

Written by Ananya Tiwari , Asad Rehman | Lucknow, New Delhi | September 30, 2020 1:44:47 am
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad protests outside Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

THE OPPOSITION on Tuesday targeted the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the death of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who was allegedly gangraped by four upper-caste men in Hathras.

In Delhi, Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar Azad and his supporters held a protest outside Safdarjung Hospital, where the woman died.

As protesters raised slogans against the Uttar Pradesh government, the woman’s father told The Indian Express: “We just want justice, that is all.”

The family, and protesters, demanded death penalty for the culprits, and an assurance from the state government that it would ensure justice. Although the post-mortem was over by afternoon, the family refused to leave. “No representative of the central or state government has met us. We will not leave till one of them meets us and promises us justice. We want justice, we want death penalty for the culprits,” said a relative. After hours of protests and negotiations with officials, the family finally left for Hathras in the evening.

While the family waited, several Dalit leaders joined the protest. “We demand death penalty for the culprits. The girl should have been taken to AIIMS, like we had demanded earlier. This government does not want the Dalit community to rise,” said Azad. “We will not back down till our Dalit daughter gets justice and the culprits are hanged,” said Raj Kumar Diwan from the Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Sabha.

Several Congress and AAP leaders also reached the hospital. “The family should be given Rs 50 lakh compensation and a government job,” said Congress leader P L Punia.

The Congress also held protests in UP. A candlelight march was held outside the party office in Lucknow. “The girl who faced animal like behaviour in Hathras succumbed. For two weeks, she fought with death in hospitals. The state has been shaken by rape incidents in Hathras, Shahjahanpur and Gorakhpur, one after the other… The law and order situation in the state is terrible… no sign of safety for women in the state. The killers must get the most severe punishment. Yogi Adityanath, you are answerable for the safety of women in the state,” tweeted party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

“A brutal murder of a daughter after her rape. The body was taken away without informing the family members. It has become a hobby of this government to murder democracy,” tweeted state Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu.

“This tenure of the BJP is difficult for the daughters and sisters of the state,” Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said in a statement. He said some SP leaders were stopped by the police when they went to meet the woman’s family members.

“The news of the Dalit victim’s death after gangrape is very tragic. The government should ensure all help to the family, and should also ensure that the case is heard in a fast-track court,” tweeted BSP chief Mayawati.

At a press conference in Lucknow, AAP leader in charge of Uttar Pradesh and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh alleged: “The BJP government is standing with the accused instead of the girls of the state”. He also targeted Mayawati. “I was seeing Mayawati ji’s statement. It seemed like a BJP mouthpiece. You are a Dalit leader and a four-time CM and you can’t raise your voice even after such an incident. This is sad,” he said.

“The death of the Hathras victim is a matter of shame for society… It is very sad that so many women are being raped and we are unable to provide them security. The culprits should be hanged as soon as possible,” tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

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