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Rahul Gandhi detained on his way to Hathras to meet the rape victim’s family

Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and other Congress workers had left for Hathras in their SUV when they were stopped on the highway at Greater Noida, about 142 kms from Hathras. After being stopped by the UP police, Rahul Gandhi came out of his SUV and started walking to Hathras. A number of Congress workers accompanied him as he walked on which led to his detention.

Rahul Gandhi. Source: Twitter

A Dalit woman was gangraped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on 14th September. Her tongue was cut off, spinal cord broken, and her throat was strangled with her dupatta. She succumbed to her injuries on 29th September in the Safdarjung hospital, New Delhi. Later in the middle of the night, the woman’s dead body was burnt without the permission of her family. The family kept requesting to have at least a final look at the dead body. The victim’s mother kept requesting that the family be let to perform the last rites of their daughter. She emphasized that she wanted to perform the last rites of her dead daughter according to proper Hindu traditions. The police officials burnt the body in the middle of the night in total confusion without the presence of the family members.

According to several ground reports, several police officials from UP Police told the family that social changes take time and even the family has made some mistakes. The irresponsible and blatantly casteist attitude of the UP Police has led to a national outrage. Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders have been repeatedly raising questions over Yogi Adityanath’s administration and policies on women security on Twitter. Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi, and other Congress workers set out to meet the victim’s family in Hathras but their convoy was stopped on their way to the district.

In response, Gandhi brother-sister duo along with other Congress workers stepped out of their cars and started walking towards Hathras. The UP Police tried stopping them and it has been alleged that they also lathicharged Rahul Gandhi. Videos show that Gandhi was repeatedly pushed back which also led to him falling on the ground. He was seen saying, “Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modi Ji walk in this country? Can't a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking.”

Other videos show Rahul Gandhi asking the police official the grounds on which he was being arrested. The UP Police cited Section 188 which is a law on defying official orders for the arrest of Mr Gandhi. UP Police mentioned that Section 144 which prevents people from gathering in groups has been in place in Hathras. Countering this argument of the UP police, Rahul Gandhi can be seen in a video saying in front of the media that if gathering in groups is not allowed, he would walk alone to Hathras.

Today morning, officials set up barricades in Hathras calling it a coronavirus containment zone preventing media from entering the district. The Samajwadi Party also today protested outside the Hathras border. The opposition parties have alleged that this is an attempt to silence the family and pressurize them against talking to the media.

Rahul Gandhi and others were later released and taken by the policemen back to Delhi. He later tweeted that UP Chief Minister should not be scared and let the opposition meet the mourning family.

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