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Published On: Thu, Oct 1st, 2020

“UP police pushed me, lathi-charged me and threw me to the ground: Rahul Gandhi

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RGNEW DELHI : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka were detained by the Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday on the Yamuna Expressway, while they were walking to Hathras to meet the family of the Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped and murdered.
Ranvijay Singh, Additional DCP Gautam Budh Nagar, had told IANS that the Congress leaders were taken into custody and they won’t be allowed to go further. He added that they have a letter from DM Hathras saying that if they visit Hathras, it may “disturb the law and order situation in the district.”

The Gandhis, along with senior Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala were taken to Buddh International Circuit in Gautam Buddh Nagar, after detention.

“UP police pushed me, lathi-charged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modiji 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 told media persons present at the spot.

When stopped by the police, Rahul asked them under which provision he was being arrested. The police responded that he was being arrested under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, for violating a Section 144 order.
Gandhi contested this, saying Section 144 applied to an assembly of people, and so would not apply if he proceeded alone. The police did not agree with his argument and detained him, his sister, as well as Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.

“I want to walk to Hathras alone. Please tell me under which section are you arresting me,” Gandhi is seen asking in a video shared by Congress Twitter handles. The UP cops, meanwhile, reportedly said that the Congress leader was arrested under Section 188 of the IPC, for ‘violation of the Epidemic Act.’

“We have no information about Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. Special Investigation Team (SIT) will meet the victim’s family members today, media will not be allowed,” he was quoted by ANI as saying.
An FIR has been lodged against Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as well as around 200 party workers under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
The former Congress president alleged that he was pushed to the ground and struck with a lathi by the police. Pictures from the scene showed Gandhi being held back by the policemen, while one of the frames captured him taking a tumble and falling to the ground as the push back by police continued.

The party workers quickly gathered around to pick him up. The police are citing the imposition of Section 144, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people, to deny Gandhis.
“I am standing here peacefully. I want to march alone to Hathras. Section 144 talks about public assembly. I will go alone to Hathras. On what basis are you detaining me,” asked Rahul Gandhi in Hindi to the cops present on the scene.

The 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday a fortnight after she was gang-raped at Hathras while she was out to collect fodder with her mother, was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
Earlier, members of Dalit groups and activists alleged that the early morning cremation was done to prevent any mobilisation or protests in the village.
“The whole world is watching how the government and the police together cremated our sister in the absence of her family. I have been taken into custody and put under house arrest in Saharanpur; but we will continue to fight,” said Chandrasekhar Azad, chief of the Bhim Army, who had led protests outside Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra  said she has “never seen such injustice anywhere” on the gang rape and murder of a woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. The police had hastily cremated her late at night, away from her family.
“This government has not allowed a father to perform the last rites of his daughter. This is injustice and this is how the government behaves with the people of U P,” Priyanka told to a TV Interview.
The police said there was a gash in her tongue because she had bitten it when the men were trying to strangle her.
To add to the family’s pain, the UP police took away her body, drove to her village and cremated the body forcibly, with the family locked in their home.
The BJP said Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to visit Hathras was a “photo op”.”Rahul Gandhi has a track record. Whenever he returns from abroad, he is busy with photo-ops. Today also his march on the expressway was a photo-op. Neither Rahul Gandhi nor Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are sincere in their protests,” UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told reporters.
(With Agency Inputs ).



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