Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that he was lathi-charged by the Uttar Pradesh police and manhandled.
Mr. Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday, 1 October, began marching towards Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on foot, to meet the family of the woman who died after being allegedly gang-raped and whose ‘forcible cremation’ in the night by the police lead to widespread outrage.
“The UP police pushed me, lathi-charged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modi Ji walk in this country? Can only BJP-RSS people freely walk in this country? Can’t a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by The Quint.
“Yogi Ji needs to take the responsibility of safety of women. The atrocities against women in UP have to stop. The accussed need to be given the strictest of punishment. Same time last year we were fighting for the Unnao rape victim. Nothing has changed since then,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told the media while walking.
The car in which the Gandhis were travelling was flanked by anti-UP government protesters earlier as they reached Noida, via the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) route.
On Wednesday, Rahul had called the ‘forcible cremation’ of the Hathras gang-rape victim by the police a “shameful” move by the UP government.
“It is a shameful move of the state government, to oppress the Dalits and show them their place in society. Our fight is against this despicable thinking,” he had tweeted in Hindi, along with a news report on the cremation of the rape victim.
Earlier, the party had demanded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation for “not acting in time,” IANS reported.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras was cremated in the wee hours of Wednesday in her native village amid tight security.