Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi enroute to Hathras; Smriti Irani attacks, calls visit ‘political gimmick’

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NEW DELHI: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday (October 3) left for Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old woman whose brutal gang-rape, murder and forceful cremation triggered widespread protests across the country. Along with the two leaders, dozens of Congress MPs including Shashi Tharoor are also travelling to Hathras.

A massive traffic jam was witnessed on the DND flyover on Saturday amid deployment of a heavy police force of 200 personnel as a cavalcade of Congress leaders moved down the stretch to meet the gang-rape victim’s family. Barricades were installed with scores of police personnel present at the DND even as CrPC section 144 remained imposed in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar.

UP Police allows 5 people including Rahul, Priyanka to visit Hathras:

Meanwhile, the latest development on the incident said that the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday afternoon allowed the visit of 5 people including Rahul and Priyanka to proceed to Hathras.

Saturday’s visit to Hathras by Congress leaders comes barely two days after Rahul and Priyanka were stopped and allegedly manhandled by Uttar Pradesh Police during their visit to Hathras. On October 1, Rahul was allegedly roughed up by UP Police personnel and pushed to the ground when he was marching towards Hathras after their vehicles were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Other Congress leaders were also detained, and a case registered against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Earlier in the day, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi made it clear she’ll make sure she meets the family of the Hathras girl who died on Tuesday at any cost. I will visit Hathras at any cost even if the police does not allow us,” she said.

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Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani termed the Congress leaders’ visit to Hathras a ‘political gimmick’ with no intention of seeking justice for the victim’s family. 

While speaking to media Irani said, “People are aware of Congress’ tactics and that is why they ensured a historic win for BJP in 2019 polls. People understand that their (Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi) visit to Hathras is for their politics and not for justice to the victim.”

The 19-year-old woman, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted by four men, succumbed to her injuries at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on September 29. According to reports, all the four accused in the Hathras incident have been arrested. 

Amid huge public outcry over the horrific Hathras gang-rape, the Yogi Adityanath government on October 2 suspended Hathras SP, CO, Inspector, SI and head constable in the case. The Chief Minister also ordered the narco test of both the parties along with the police officials.

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