Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi visited the family of Hathras gangrape victim on Saturday after multiple face-offs with the Uttar Pradesh police and one foiled attempt to make it to Hathras. The duo had earlier tried to visit the family of the Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras on Thursday. However, police did not let them cross the Delhi-UP border. In the ensuing face-off, Congress workers were lathi-charged, while Rahul fell on the ground after being pushed by a cop.
However, the two leaders made it to the UP village despite heavy deployment at the Delhi-UP border. The images emerging from the Congress delegations visit have put forward an image of a strong and an empathetic leader. From Priyanka Gandhi taking the driver's seat to her stepping in to save the Congress workers from police batons, she has surfaced as an empathetic leader over the past few days. Yet, photographs of the two Gandhi scions consoling the bereaved family of the deceased Dalit girl stood out on social media.
In one of the pictures, Priyanka was seen hugging the mourning mother of the victim, while Rahul was seen sitting with the male members of the family, his head bowed down.
On social media, netizens lauded the duo for their efforts to reach out to the family despite UP government's attempt to stop them.
These two Photographs actually define who they are and what they stand for. And they are better human being than most politicians around pic.twitter.com/hQjoZBSC1B
— Joy (@Joydas) October 3, 2020
— Krishna Mohan Sharma (@KrishnaMohanSha) October 4, 2020
— Pritpal Kaur Badla (@BadlaKaur) October 4, 2020
What a photograph. Impossible to forget. https://t.co/bFlslUV2vX
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) October 3, 2020
— Aahana Kumra ll۞ ۞ (@AahanaKumra) October 4, 2020
— Asma (@asmatasleem11) October 3, 2020
Really This action of priyanka gandhi
— Beena Dalpura@INC (@BeenaDalpura) October 4, 2020
— Jameel Kohli (@kohli_jameel) October 4, 2020
— Neha (@_Neha_018) October 3, 2020
— MD Sadiq Shariff (@blrcongress) October 4, 2020
Rahul and Priyanka were among a total of five people allowed to meet the victim's family amid restrictions imposed under CrPC Section 144, KC Venugopal, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were also allowed to visit Hathras.
We will fight against injustice, and fight till justice is done, Priyanka Gandhi told reporters after the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes. Rahul Gandhi said no power can stifle the voice of the family.
Uttar Pradesh authorities had scuttled an earlier attempt by the two leaders to travel to Hathras, detaining them and several party workers in Greater Noida outside Delhi on Thursday. On Saturday, the Congress staged another demonstration at the Delhi-Noida border, where Congress workers scuffled with police and were allegedly lathi-charged.
When a delegation of Congress MPs and other leaders reached the barricades, the Noida police said they will allow only five party representatives to meet the family at their village in Hathras, about 150 km away. The 19-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 in an assault by four men that left her critically injured. She died at a Delhi hospital last Tuesday.