Lucknow /Varanasi, Oct 3 (PTI) Congress and Samajwadi Party workers protested against the alleged gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, raising anti-government slogans before Union Minister Smriti Irani in Varanasi on Saturday.
Congress workers raised the slogans and tried to block Irani's cavalcade demanding justice for the woman's family.
Speaking in Lucknow, Congress spokesman Lalan Kumar said the protesting party workers were later arrested.
The Union minister is in Varanasi to hold a dialogue with farmers and agriculture scientists.
She also faced a similar protest by workers of SP's women's wing as soon as she reached the venue.
Later, Irani called the SP workers and assured them that everyone would be heard.
Speaking to media persons, she alleged that the Opposition is merely indulging in politics on the issue.
When asked about the last rites of the victim being performed in the dead of night, she said, “I do not interfere in the working of the Women's Commission but they have told me that they have been taking up the issue from the very first day with the district administration and government so that justice can be ensured to the victim.” ”I have myself talked to the Chief Minister and also seen that an SIT has been constituted and action has already been taken against the SP of the district. I believe that action will be taken against all those who interfered or conspired to see that the victim does not get justice once the report of the SIT is received,” she said.
Referring to a Congress delegation's visit to Hathras, she said, “If any political party or leader wants to do politics on any issue, I cannot stop that leader, but people know that their march towards Hathras is for politics and not for justice.” The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi where she breathed her last on Tuesday.
She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the middle of the night.
Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out 'as per the wishes of the family'. PTI SAB CORR HDA