Hathras gangrape: TMC’s Derek O’Brien pushed to ground; woman’s family alleges harassment by cops
Kakoli Ghosh-Dastidar, who represents the Barasat constituency in the Lok Sabha and was a part of the TMC delegation, was also allegedly roughed up by the UP Police
Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) Rajya Sabha (RS) member Derek O’Brien was pushed to the ground by a Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police team on Friday afternoon when he and some other lawmakers had tried to visit the Bul Gargi village in Hathras, where a 19-year-old Dalit woman had died earlier this week after she was allegedly gang-raped by four upper caste men in September.
Kakoli Ghosh-Dastidar, who represents the Barasat constituency in the Lok Sabha and was a part of the TMC delegation, was also allegedly roughed up by the UP Police.
The TMC delegation had landed on the outskirts of the woman’s village early Friday afternoon.
But they were asked to stay behind the barricades, which have put up around one and a half kilometres from the village, which has emerged as the centre of a political controversy since the crime was first reported.
O’Brien had urged the UP Police Ghosh-Dastidar be allowed to visit the aggrieved family members of the deceased woman. However, the police turned down his request.
“I am sick and tired of UP,” O’Brien said.
“The arrogant police are mishandling the situation. They have pushed Ghosh-Dastidar to the ground for trying to comfort the victim’s family members. We wanted to offer solidarity to her family,” he said.
“It is an atrocity against Dalits and women by the government. Can’t I even meet and comfort the family members of the victim?” asked Ghosh-Dastidar.
The situation between the media persons and the UP Police outside the village remained tense for the second consecutive day amid allegations that the woman’s family members were being harassed.
A youth, who claimed to be a cousin of the victim, emerged from the village to the main road on Friday morning and alleged that the police had taken control over her family members.
He alleged that the victim’s father had passed out on Wednesday after the police thrashed him with a stick.
“They have seized our mobile phones,” he alleged.
He further alleged the police had occupied the woman’s house and personnel were deployed in the streets of the village and even on adjoining farm lands. He said that he managed to sneak out of the village through a secret route.
He ran as soon as the police came towards him while he was speaking to the media persons.
The police personnel, who was deployed at the spot, did not respond to the allegations. However, they conceded that restrictions were imposed in the entry and exit to the village.
Vikrant Vir, superintendent of police, Hathras, was unavailable for his comment.