(Eds: With quotes of more TMC leaders and BJP reax) Kolkata, Sep 30 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his 'silence' on the gangrape incident at Hathras in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and said that he should speak up for Dalits if he has 'any humanity left'.
The West Bengal BJP also hit back, asking TMC leaders to first focus their attention on the rising crimes against women in the state and then lecture others.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she died on Tuesday.
'An unspeakable crime committed in #Hathras under @narendramodiji's reign and he was silent,' Trinamool Youth Congress president and MP Abhishek Banerjee wrote on Twitter.
'#Modispeakup4dalits if you have any humanity left inside,' he added.
Abhishek, the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also claimed that the UP Police disrespected her remains.
'The girl succumbed to her injuries, after battling to stay alive for 15 days and now, @UPpolice has utterly disrespected her remains!' Banerjee wrote.
The woman was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday in the village, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of night.
TMC Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O' Brien also condemned the attack on Dalits and demanded justice for them.
'Dalits are our assets. We strongly condemn any act of torture against them. If such an incident occurs, we take the strictest action. But many incidents do not come before the public. Dalits are an integral part of our society. We are committed to their justice,' O'Brien tweeted.
Senior TMC leader and MP Sougata Ray also said that the incident reflects the worsening law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
'We demand exemplary punishment for the culprits,' he said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh asked TMC leaders to 'stop shedding crocodile tears'.
'Under the TMC regime, crimes against women have gone up in the state. They should first set their own house in order and then lecture others,' Ghosh said. PTI AMR PNT NN NN