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Published On: Fri, Oct 2nd, 2020

After Rahul Gandhi, TMC MP Derek O’Brien manhandled by UP Police

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DERAKNEW DELHI : A day after Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were stopped and allegedly manhandled by Uttar Pradesh Police, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien along with some party leaders were also intercepted while on their way to Hathras to meet the gangrape-murder victim’s family members.
Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal, and Mamata Thakur, all parliamentarians, were the three other members of the delegation was pushed to the ground in a confrontation with police when he and three other party leaders tried to enter the village where the victim lived.
Kakoli Ghosh-Dastidar, who represents the Barasat constituency in the Lok Sabha 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 was put up around one and a half kilometers from the village which has emerged as the centre of the political controversy since the crime was first reported.
Derek O’Brien had urged the UP Police Ghosh-Dastidar be allowed to visit the aggrieved family members of the deceased woman.The UP Police however turned down his request.

Condemning the incident, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee claimed that the Yogi Adityanath government has let loose a reign of terror and “crossed all limits of decency”.

“Is it a democracy? MPs are being heckled and pushed to ground. How come police officers have this audacity to heckle members of Parliament? The state government, which has failed to protect to a Dalit girl and is busy hushing up the matter, is now using brute force against opposition,” he said.

Visuals from the scene show a scuffle between the police and Trinamool Congress delegation during which Brien was pushed to the ground by UP police personnel.
After being stopped, Brien questioned the statement government for stopping the delegation from visiting Hathras and said, “You saw the visuals. We didn’t come for politics here. This is a sacred place. We wanted to walk 1 km down.”

In a 32-second video, a man in a white shirt and a helmet can be seen grabbing TMC MP Pratima Mandal by the shoulders to prevent her from walking to the village. Derek O’Brien rushes to rescue her and the man then pushes him to the ground.
A statement issued by the party said the delegation, led by the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien, wanted to meet the family members of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, and express their solidarity with her grieving parents.
“Those who tried to project themselves as champions of ‘Beti Bachao’ (campaign) are now trying to intimidate the family members of the girl. A jungle raj prevails in Uttar Pradesh. It’s a shame,” he said.
While officials have denied the manhandling of MPs, the TMC leaders are holding a sit-in about 1 km from the victim’s home. “The allegations are totally false. Women constables requested them (TMC leaders) to go back as no one is allowed to enter the village.
When they tied to enter forcibly, women constables stopped them,” Hathras sub-divisional magistrate Prem Prakash Meena was quoted saying by news agency ANI.
The 20-year-old who died on Tuesday had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and severe spinal injury when she was assaulted by four men of the so-called upper castes from her village on September 14.
The police said there was a gash in her tongue because she had bitten it when the men were trying to strangle her. The brutality to the woman, who belonged to the Scheduled Castes, and the post-midnight funeral by the police has triggered a widespread outrage.
“We were stopped by the UP Police when they were just 1.5 km from the victim’s home,” the Trinamool Congress quoted one of the MPs as saying in the statement.
The action against the TMC leaders comes a day after Congress leaders – Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – were briefly detained over violation of ban on large gatherings amid the novel coronavirus outbreak when they were marching to Hathras.
Yesterday, a case was filed against Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra under the Epidemic Act, hours after the brief detention.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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