A day after the scuffle between Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and the Uttar Pradesh police, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’Brien was pushed to the ground by the UP cops during a confrontation while he was on his way to Hathras to meet the 19-year-old Dalit gang-rape victim’s family.
Derek O’Brien and several other TMC leaders were stopped by the UP police when they were just 1.5 km away from the victim’s family.
What did TMC say?
The Trinamool Congress said a delegation of party MPs traveled about 200 km from Delhi and was stopped by UP Police from entering Hathras. The party said the MPs were travelling separately to express solidarity with the grieving family and convey their condolences.
Trinamool MPs Derek O’Brien, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and ex-MP Mamata Thakur were stopped by police, the party alleged.
Visuals showed Trinamool Congress MPs, wearing masks, trying to persuade local police to allow them to meet the victims’ family with folded hands.
Holding placards, which read “Beti Bachao? Beti Jalao? Shame (save the daughter? burn the daughter? shame), the TMC leaders were seen sitting on the road.
“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. At this moment, we are just 1.5 km from the victim’s home in Hathras,” the party’s statement quoted one of the MPs as saying.
Rahul Gandhi pushed to ground
On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi alleged that he was pushed to the ground and struck with a baton by the police.
Sources had said that a scuffle broke out at the Delhi-Noida border on Thursday afternoon as Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi tried to make their way to reach Hathras. As police tried to stop the Congress leaders and the massive crowd from moving forward, Rahul Gandhi was pushed to the ground by the police personnel.
Pictures from the incident became viral on social media. In the pictures, Rahul Gandhi is seen being pushed by policemen. One of the pictures showed the Congress leader lying on the ground as party workers gather around to pick him up.
Hathras gang-rape case history
A 19-year-old woman was attacked on September 14 at Hathras village. She told the cops that she was dragged by her dupatta into the fields where she had been cutting grass.
The family later found her in the fields, naked and bleeding, with injuries on her neck and back.
She suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a deep gash in her tongue in the assault. The injuries to her neck left her paralysed and struggling to breathe, media reports said.
Her family has alleged that the police did not help them initially and only reacted after public outrage over the incident.
UP police denied that her tongue was cut off and said she bit her tongue when her attackers were trying to strangle her.
News of her death led to protests outside the hospital with the Bhim Army of Chandrashekhar Azad blocking roads for 10-15 minutes and protesters chanting ‘hang the rapists’. There has been an outpouring of grief and anger from politicians, celebrities and others.
The UP police initially registered an attempt to murder case but added rape charges only after the woman’s formal statement. They have denied the family’s allegation of slow response.
The victim’s family alleged that the body was cremated by the police in a hurry in the dead of the night and the family and relatives were not allowed to have a last look.
Meanwhile, the UP police are now claiming that no rape had happened, citing a forensic report.
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