India

Hathras Sealed Ahead Of Gandhis' Visit; Officials Cite Covid

Hathras Sealed Ahead Of Gandhis' Visit; Officials Cite Covid

Hathras Gang-Rape: Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will meet family of the woman.

New Delhi:

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Hathras in Uttar Pradesh today to meet the family of the 20-year-old woman who died after being gang-raped and tortured and whose dead-of-night cremation by the UP police has provoked nationwide outrage. 

The woman died on Tuesday at a hospital in Delhi. She had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and had been left struggling to breathe by a neck injury when she was assaulted by four upper caste men from her village on September 14. The police said there was a gash in her tongue because she had bitten it when the men were trying to strangle her.

To add to the family's pain, the UP police took away her body, drove to her village in Hathras and cremated the body forcibly, with the family locked in their home. The woman's parents had begged to be allowed to take her body back home and perform the last rite the following morning.

The woman was cremated at 2.30 am with only a few policemen around and no family member. The UP police's rush to cremate the body was seen to be a desperate attempt to cover-up what has been a string of lapses in the case.

The woman's family alleged that the police had been slow to respond to their complaint and the administration had been negligent because they belong to the Dalit or underprivileged castes.

The incident has drawn public anger and the UP government of Yogi Adityanath has come under attack from the opposition over recent crimes against women. 

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said: "All this is a shameful move of the UP government to suppress the Dalits and show them their ''place'' in the society. Our fight is against this hateful thinking." Rahul Gandhi was an MP from Uttar Pradesh for three terms until he lost in his family stronghold Amethi last year.

His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has the task of rebuilding the Congress in UP, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had "no moral right" to continue in office.