Priyanka Gandhi attends prayer meet for Hathras victim at Delhi temple
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday attended a prayer meet at the Valmiki temple in Delhi for the 19-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. The woman died earlier this week.
The UP police is accused by the family of forcing the cremation of the woman in the dead of the night. District officials contended that they had consent from the woman’s family, but the manner in which the developments took place raised questions over the conduct of the administration and law enforcement.
“We have come here to offer our condolences, but more than that we are all here to ensure that the family and our sister get justice. We will not stop until we get justice,” said Priyanka Gandhi at the prayer meeting.
The Congress leader urged every woman in the country to raise her voice against this injustice.
“The family has received no help from the government. Instead, they weren’t even allowed to light the funeral pyre. It is not the culture of our country that the father and the brother don’t conduct the last rites. It is not the tradition of our country to cremate any one after sunset,” she added.
A tribute for the victim of the brutal gangrape victim in Hathras has been organised by the temple trust. Senior Congress leaders PL Punia, Sushmita Dev and Anil Choudhary have already offered a floral tribute and are sitting in solidarity.
“As the Mahila Congress under the aegis of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, we have to take the lead and protest against this injustice,” Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev tells Hindustan Times. “It is the women of this country who will bring down Narendra Modi.”
On Thursday, Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul, the Congress says, were briefly arrested as they tried to visit Hathras. The UP police escorted them back to Delhi.
Back in the village, scores of police personnel in and around the area have been deployed to prevent the entry of opposition leaders and the media. It is seen as an attempt to scuttle the growing anger over the administration’s handling of the young woman’s death.
Earlier today, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien reached the district with some party leaders but was stopped 1.5 km from the young woman’s house in Boolgarhi village. Derek O’Brien, who still insisted on meeting her family, was pushed to the ground by a police team.
A teenager who emerged from the village on Friday morning alleged the police had seized mobile phones of the rape victim’s family and the family wanted to make a statement to the media.
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