Bhubaneswar, Oct 1 (PTI) The Congress' Odisha unit on Thursday lashed out at the police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh for its 'undemocratic and shameful' action of stopping and detaining party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra while they were walking to Hathras to meet the rape victim's family.
State Congress president Niranjan Patnaik wondered how the right of political leaders to express sympathy for a Dalit woman who has been murdered can be denied.
'The behaviour of Uttar Pradesh Police was most unfortunate, undemocratic and shameful,' he said.
Now the people of India should understand how the present governments in UP and the Centre want to run their show to remain in power, the Congress leader said.
'All of us should protest against this type of mentality and behaviour in order to save democracy in the country,' Patnaik said.
Senior BJP leader Golak Mohapatra said the sensitive issue should not be politicised and claimed that Rahul Gandhi was stopped apparently to prevent any untoward incident.
Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that the way Rahul Gandhi was treated by the Uttar Pradesh administration is highly condemnable.
Party MP Saptagiri Ulaka said that there was nothing wrong on the part of Rahul Gandhi to go to meet the rape and murder victim's family and express his sympathy.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital where she died on Tuesday. Her body was cremated by the police in the dead of night.
While Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were going to meet her family, they were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida. The two were then taken away in a police jeep and kept in a guest house for sometime after which they were released. PTI SKN NN NN