Noida (UP), Oct 3 (PTI) Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra left for Hathras from Delhi on Saturday evening after the Uttar Pradesh Police allowed only five party representatives to proceed, citing CrPC Section 144 restrictions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Congress leaders are headed to Hathras in western UP to meet the family of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who died on Tuesday in a Delhi hospital, a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four men outside her village.
'CrPC Section 144 has been imposed in Noida, Greater Noida as well as in Hathras and some other districts in Uttar Pradesh due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Considering the social distancing and other related norms, permission has been granted for five people, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra,' Police Commissioner Alok Singh told PTI.
Meanwhile, UP Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi, who was in Hathras on Saturday, also told reporters that “any group with no more than five people' is allowed to meet the victim's family.
Earlier, the DND toll plaza at the Delhi-Noida border had virtually turned into a fortress with heavy police deployment in anti-riot gear ahead of the movement of Congress representatives.
Hundreds of Congress and Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers had also gathered at the DND, raising slogans against the BJP government in UP over the Hathras case and for allegedly preventing their party leaders from meeting the victim's family.
Some party workers also alleged that policemen had hit them with batons during skirmish while Congress leaders were trying to cross over to the UP side from Delhi to proceed for Hathras, some 180 km away from here. PTI KIS SNE