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Monday, November 23, 2020

‘Unlike UP…’: Rahul Gandhi counters BJP’s ‘silence’ jibe over Hoshiarpur rape case

Rahul Gandhi's UP reference was regarding the Hathras case where a 19-year-old Dalit girl died after she was allegedly gangraped by four-upper caste men and was hurriedly cremated by officials without the family's presence. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 24, 2020 9:03:07 pm
hoshiarpur rape case, punjab girl rape case, punjab rape case, rahul gandhi hathras case, hathras rape murder casePriyanka Gandhi Vadra checks on her brother Rahul Gandhi who was allegedly roughed up by the UP police en route to Hathras to meet the family of the victim (File/ANI)

Hours after BJP leader and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman questioned the Congress’s “silence” on the Hoshiarpur rape case, party leader Rahul Gandhi countered by saying that the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan are not denying incidents of rape unlike the Uttar Pradesh. He said that he will “go there to fight for justice” if the state governments fail to do so.

“Unlike in UP, the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan are NOT denying that the girl was raped, threatening her family and blocking the course of justice. If they do, I will go there to fight for justice,” Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress leader’s UP reference was regarding the Hathras case where a 19-year-old Dalit girl died after she was allegedly gangraped by four-upper caste men and was hurriedly cremated by officials without the family’s presence.

Gandhi, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other Congress leaders had then visited the residence of the victim in Hathras and assured them support.

Comparing the two cases, Sitharaman questioned why no “picnic” was organised by the Congress leaders to meet the kin of the six-year-old child whose half-burnt body was discovered by Punjab police on Wednesday evening.

While referring to Rahul and his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to the Hathras village, Sitharaman said: “In the Hathras rape case, it seemed as though they were all going out for a picnic. The brother and sister ran towards the village. But why not in the case of Hoshiarpur or Rajasthan? The selective outrage of the party has been completely exposed.”

“Why was there no response from the ‘tweet-friendly’ leader? Does this selective outrage suit the Congress party? At least 35 MPs were flamboyant in their statements on Twitter in the case of Hathras. Where are those 35 MPs today?” she added.

Noting that the young girl belonged to a Dalit migrant family from Bihar, Sitharaman also took a swipe at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, questioning if he had asked Rahul Gandhi about the issue while holding a joint poll campaign with him in the state.

The six-year-old rape victim in Hoshiarpur village was cremated amid high security on Friday. The last rites of the minor were attended by her entire village where the family demanded capital punishment for the accused. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, directed the DGP to conduct a swift probe in the matter.

The CM, in a statement, said he himself directed the director general of police to ensure that the case is fast-tracked by the courts to ensure strict and exemplary action for the accused. He ridiculed the BJP leaders’ criticism of the silence of the Congress leadership on the case, dubbing their remarks as “political puffery” with no substance or basis to support their criticism.

(Inputs from PTI)

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