As the Congress intensifies its protests against the Uttar Pradesh government over the death and the police high-handedness in the cremation of a 19-year-old woman from Hathras, the party’s state unit chief has alleged that he has been placed in “house arrest” by the administration.
The state union of the party said several of its district leaders have also been placed under “house arrest”.
There is complete anarchy in the state, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said and accused the government of trying to silence him and his party as they continue with their agitations. His “house arrest” comes ahead of a scheduled visit of party leader Rahul Gandhi to Hathras.
Lallu said the police arrived at his home well past midnight on Friday and tried to break into his house. They remained at his residence till early in the morning on Saturday. They then handed him a notice saying a case has been registered against him and that he has to appear at the Hazratganj station in Lucknow on October 9.
“After 4 am, I am told that I am under house arrest. I am not being allowed to leave. What is it that the UP government wants to hide?,” he said, according to NDTV.
Lallu said the government’s actions show that it wants to hide something. “What is the state government trying to hide? Whom does it want to save? Women in Uttar Pradesh are unsafe. There is lawlessness in the state,” he said.
A tweet from the Uttar Pradesh Congress said, “State party president Shri Ajay Kumar Lalluji, district heads and over 500 workers are under house arrest. Yogiji, don’t stop those fighting for justice.”
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi plan to make a second attempt top visit Hathras on Saturday after their first attempt was thwarted by the police on Thursday. Rahul Gandhi had said the police had lathicharged him to stop him from going to visit the woman’s family.
“Congress MPs under the leadership of former Congress President Shri @RahulGandhi will go to #Hathras today (Saturday) afternoon to meet the grieving family of the 19-year-old daughter of Uttar Pradesh, who was brutally assaulted & murdered,” Congress general secretary KC Venugopal tweeted on Saturday (October 3). “@INCIndia delegation led by Shri @RahulGandhi will meet the family members to hear their grievances & demand justice for the victim & her family who have been denied justice & severely traumatized by the BJP Government in UP,” he tweeted.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman died while undergoing treatment at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi a week after after she was allegedly attacked by four men of a higher caste. She was also allegedly gang-raped. The police, however, claim there are no indications of rape.
There was large-scale outrage after the police cremated the body in the middle of the night around 2.30 am on Wednesday after keeping the family away by locking them.