Hathras authorities have said they have no information of the visit by the Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
The incident has given the Congress and other Opposition parties a major weapon against the BJP. (File photo: PTI)
All entry points to Hathras have been sealed and Section 144 imposed in the entire district amid growing outrage over the rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman. The prohibitory orders by authorities came ahead of a scheduled visit to Hathras by Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi to meet the victim’s family, media reports said. There has been no official word by the Congress on the visit by the leaders.
The district administration today said that it has no information on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit. “Borders of Hathras are sealed. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the district, more than 5 people are not allowed to gather. We’ve no information about Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. SIT will meet the victim’s family members today, media will not be allowed,” Hathras DM P Lakshkar told news agency ANI.
There are also indications that the village where the incident took place may be declared a containment zone, with district authorities citing Covid cases as one of the reasons for prohibitory orders. The incident, which has sparked furor across the country, has put the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state on the backfoot.
On Wednesday, CM Adityanath said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to him on the matter and directed that the strictest of action be taken against the culprits. The Uttar Pradesh government has since formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the incident. The SIT has been given a timeline of seven days to submit its report. The case will be heard by a fast track court. A compensation of Rs 25 lakh for the victim’s family, a government job for a family member, and a house in Hathras city under the State Urban Development Agency have also been announced by the state government.
According to The Indian Express, the victim was initially admitted to a district hospital 15 days ago with her tongue cut off and spinal cord severely injured, among other serious injuries. She was later shifted to Aligarh hospital for treatment, before moving to Safdarjung Hospital in the national capital where she succumbed to her injuries.
The incident has given the Congress and other Opposition parties a major weapon against the BJP. “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,” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said. Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh Priyanka said that Adityanath has no moral right to continue as CM.
The victim’s family has claimed that the woman was forcibly cremated by police officials in the wee hours of Wednesday and the family was not allowed to take the body home. The family has also alleged lapses by the police and the administration in responding to their complaint.
Meanwhile, the UP Police has denied any lapses on their part and claimed that the victim’s medical reports have so far presented no evidence of rape. “They’re waiting for the report of Forensics. As of now, doctors say that they’re not confirming rape, can give firm opinion only when they get FSL report,” Hathras SP Vikrant Vir said.