New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress on Friday alleged that its MP Pratima Mandal was manhandled and pushed by a senior district official when she was on her way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to the meet family of a 19-year-old woman who died after she was allegedly gang-raped and assaulted.
The party also shared a number of short video clips which showed its leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien being pushed to the ground by police personnel and Mandal being manhandled by the administrative official on the road, a few km away from the woman's house.
Mandal and O'Brien were part of a party delegation to Hathras.
O'Brien said, 'We have filed a police complaint against the Hathras Sadar SDM with a request that it be turned into an FIR. We will also write to the Lok Sabha speaker on the matter.' In her complaint, Mandal wrote, 'When we tried to meet the family this morning, SDM (Prem Prakash) Meena pushed me and tried to forcibly stop me. We have come from West Bengal to offer our condolences to the family of the victim. In a democracy to stop a public representative from meeting a victim's family is murder of democracy.' In the complaint to the police, a copy of which is with PTI, Mandal also alleged that Meena pushed her and misbehaved with her.
There was no immediate reaction available from Meena and any other official to the allegation.
TMC sources said that the visit of the MPs to Hathras was planned in such a way that chances of them being identified and stopped were minimal.
The delegation comprised MPs O'Brien, Mandal, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and former parliamentarian Mamata Thakur. They travelled in separate cars from Delhi and met up 25 km ahead of Hathras. They managed to enter the village of the woman, but were unable to meet the family.
'We requested the police that they let the women MPs meet the family, but they did not even allow that. Then the SDM pushed our woman MP and that's when we intervened and said that this cannot be allowed,' O'Brien said.
He said Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and leader Ramgopal Yadav called him up and extended their support to them.
The delegation also staged a dharna on the spot from 12 noon to 3 pm, after which they filed the complaint.
'Wherever there are atrocities against Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, the socially challenged, the economically challenged, we will be there. To reach out, show solidarity, to give strength. All we wanted today from the shameless UP administration, was to allow two of our women MPs to meet and console the grieving family in Hathras.
'The two MPs were willing to walk the one km to the family home. That also was disallowed. The world and India saw what happened. Pratima Mondal, our LS MP, herself an SC, was manhandled by a male member of Ajay Bisht's jungle raj,' O'Brien, the TMC's Parliamentary Party leader in Rajya Sabha, said later in a statement.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Thursday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police after they were stopped from marching towards Hathras to meet the family members of the Dalit woman. Rahul Gandhi was also pushed in the scuffle on the Yamuna Expressway and he fell on the ground.
The woman succumbed to the severe injuries she suffered when she was allegedly assaulted by four upper-caste men -- later arrested -- in the fields at her village in Hathras district on September 14.
A senior police officer said in Lucknow that the forensic examination on the woman who died at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday did not indicate rape. PTI ASG AAR AAR