Lucknow/New Delhi, Sep 29 (PTI) Hitting out at the BJP over the Hathras gangrape incident, Congress Tuesday questioned the 'silence' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and women leaders of his party and alleged that Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government has become the country's 'crime capital'.
The Opposition party's attack on the Centre and the state government came after a 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras in UP died at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital Tuesday morning, days after she was allegedly raped by four men.
Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev wrote to Chief Minister Adityanath over the incident and demanded his resignation, saying he should quit taking moral responsibility for the 'deteriorating' law and order situation in the state and that president's rule be imposed.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that for eight days no gangrape charges were pressed in the matter and that the UP chief minister's information advisor and Agra Police kept calling the incident 'fake news”.
She demanded a probe into the incident by a committee headed by a sitting High Court judge.
Shrinate also attacked Union Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani, an MP from the state, asking her to break her “conspicuous silence” on the issue.
UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu also demanded Adityanath’s resignation from the CM’s post and asked why UP Governor Anandiben Patel was silent over the incident.
The Congress also protested over the incident at Vijay Chowk in Delhi, demanding justice for the victim. The party said its leaders PL Punia, Udit Raj, Amrita Dhawan along with others were detained at Mandir Marg police station for protesting.
Party leaders and workers also carried out a candle march at Safdarjung hospital and in several places in UP.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over the incident, saying the 'class-specific jungle raj' of UP has killed another young woman.
'The government said this is fake news and left the victim to die. Neither was this unfortunate incident fake, nor was the death of the victim and the mercilessness of the government,' he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit out at the state government, alleging that there is 'no semblance of security' for women in UP.
She said incidents of rape one after the other in Hathras, Shahjahanpur and Gorakhpur have “shaken the state”.
'Law and order in UP has deteriorated beyond limits. There is no semblance of safety for women. Criminals are committing crimes in the open,” Priyanka Gandhi said, demanding that the woman’s killers be punished severely.
In her letter to the UP CM, Dev said being the chief minister, he was 'accountable' for the brutality committed against the 'daughter of Hathras'.
She demanded strict action against the culprits through a fast track court and all possible assistance to the victim's family.
'The terrible state of Uttar Pradesh in violence against women is a matter of shame. You should take moral responsibility for the deteriorating law and order situation and resign, and President's rule should be imposed in Uttar Pradesh,' Dev said in the letter.
Shrinate alleged that for eight days no gangrape charges were pressed in the matter and only after the media reported it, the police registered a case. She also alleged that the UP chief minister's information advisor and Agra Police, till September 24, kept calling the incident 'fake news'.
'Why did it take eight days for the UP police to register a gangrape case on her complaint, why was she immediately not transferred to a premier institute like AIIMS, and instead was left to die in UP? Why is it that these men who brutally assaulted, raped and murdered her, do not face NSA (National Security Act) charges and why is it that the UP chief minister is absolutely quiet on this?' Shrinate asked.
Claiming that there is no law and order in UP, she alleged that the police are 'hand in glove' with criminals and the government extends 'political patronage' to them.
'I will also raise questions on the absolute conspicuous silence of the prime minister, and women leaders of the BJP who had at one point in time said it is their moral duty to raise their voice on crimes against women and today when they are in charge of those departments, they do not utter a word,' she said.
Shrinate claimed that of the about 312 BJP MLAs, 83 face serious charges such as murder and rape.
Attacking Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani, she said, 'I expect her to break her conspicuous silence and speak on these issues. You are not just an MP from UP, you are also the Child and Development Minister. It is your moral responsibility to come out in the open and talk about these issues, because silence makes you complicit with crimes like these.' UP Congress chief Lallu said, 'Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had in the Assembly said that fast track courts will be formed in the state for hearing of the cases related to women and daughters. The Chief Minister should tell as to how many steps he has moved forward in this direction. The Chief Minister should resign.' The woman was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 following which she was admitted to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh. She was referred to the Delhi hospital on Monday after her condition showed no signs of improvement. PTI ASK NAV RDM RDM