‘Attempt to suppress Dalits’: Rahul Gandhi on Hathras girl’s cremation

The Congress leader said not allowing the family to conduct the girl’s last rites is an “abusive and unjust” act of the UP government

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi visited Puducherry to kick off the Congress’ assembly election campaign amid a crisis facing the party in the Union Territory, where its government has lost the majority. | File photo: PTI

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the Uttar Pradesh government for its handling of the gangrape of a 20-year-old in Hathras, who died on Tuesday (September 29) after fighting for survival for two weeks.

There was outrage over the police cremating the girl’s body at 2 am even as the girl’s family was locked up. Gandhi tweeted that it was a “shameful move of the UP government to suppress the Dalits and show them their ‘place’ in the society”.

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The Hathras protest has a caste angle to it starting with Chandrashekar Azad’s Bhim Army’s rally outside the Delhi hospital on Tuesday. Soon, the topic was all over the social media with users tweeting that the girl and her family have been “brutalised by the entire system”.

“All this is a shameful move of the UP government to suppress the Dalits and show them their ‘place’ in the society. Our fight is against this hateful thinking,” Rahul Gandhi said on the Hathras incident.

An earlier tweet from Gandhi read: “A daughter of India is raped, facts are suppressed, and in the end the right to funeral is also taken away from her family. It is abusive and unjust.”

Rahul Gandhi’s sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation.

The 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was gang-raped two weeks ago in Hathras, succumbed to her injuries at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday morning. The accused had tried to strangle her to death as she resisted their rape attempt and in the process, she had also ended up biting her tongue and suffering a severe cut on it. The four accused have been arrested.

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At the protest on Tuesday, the Bhim Army chief said, “I appeal to all members of the Dalit community to take to the streets and demand death penalty for the guilty. The government should not test our patience. We won’t rest until the culprits are hanged.”

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