Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday while he was marching towards Hathras with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to meet the family of the Dalit gangrape victim who passed away on Tuesday. Policemen wrestled down Gandhi with other Congress workers before making the arrest while the Congress leader repeatedly asked the police to let him know what charge was he being detained under, TV reports said.
Rahul Gandhi told TV crews surrounding him that he was pushed to the ground and lathi-charged. He said they started walking after their vehicle was stopped. Can a normal person not walk? Can only the prime minister walk in this country, he asked. The 2 Congress leaders were then taken back to Delhi by police.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were heading to Hathras when their convoy was stopped near Pari Chowk in Greater Noida.
Readers may be aware that the Hathras gangrape victim was surreptitiously cremated by UP Police in the middle of the night of September 29-30. This has created a nationwide outrage compounded by the brutal nature of the crime on September 14, when the 19-year-old woman was gang-raped by four upper caste men in her village.
Ahead of the Congress leaders’ visit, the UP administration had imposed Section 144 in the district and put up barricades at borders citing coronavirus concerns. After the convoy was stopped, the leaders started walking with scores of party workers.
Priyanka Gandhi told reporters that last time this year they were fighting for the daughter of Unnao and the situation in UP has not changed in a year.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state’s police chief in connection with the Hathras gang-rape. NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of the gang rape, the rights panel said.