Lucknow, Oct 4 (PTI) A Samajwadi Party delegation on Sunday met the family of the 19-year-old woman who died after she was assaulted and allegedly gang-raped in Hathras, and assured them of all possible help.
Earlier, the party had alleged that its delegation members were stopped briefly at a toll plaza near Agra by police at the behest of the government when they were on their way to meet the family.
'This forcible stoppage is a murder of democracy.... Samajwadi(s) will stand with the aggrieved family in their fight for justice,' the party tweeted in Hindi.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav had on Saturday set up an 11-member fact-finding team headed by the party's state unit chief Naresh Uttam Patel to visit the woman's village and meet her family members.
After the delegation met the family, the party said in another tweet in Hindi: 'A 'nyay yuddh' (war for justice) is going on to deliver justice to the deceased daughter of Hathras by the Samajwadis. On the directives of the national president, the SP delegation met the aggrieved family, expressed its solidarity, and assured all possible help (to them). SP supports all the demands of the aggrieved family.' Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in a press statement issued in Lucknow alleged that its vice-president Jayant Chaudhary and party workers were lathi-charged by police when they were on their way to meet the Hathras family.
Condemning the police action, RLD's UP unit president Masood Ahmed said, 'The BJP is trying to suppress the voice of the opposition.' When contacted, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said, 'Barricades put up by the police were damaged and when those who had gathered there tried to forcibly make their way, the police resorted to mild use of force.' Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra condemned the police action.
'The treatment meted out to Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary by the UP police is extremely condemnable. (Why) such violence against opposition leaders? This is an indication of the arrogance of the UP government and it becoming anarchic. Maybe they have forgotten that our country is a democracy. The public will remind them of this,' she said in a tweet in Hindi.
SP's Akhilesh Yadav also condemned the police action.
'The lathi-charge on senior RLD leader by administration and police is extremely condemnable. The government should immediately provide him security,' he said.
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 Delhi's Safdarjung hospital 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 dead of the night.
Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out 'as per the wishes of the family'.
The visit by the SP delegation and RLD came a day after the visit by Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul Gandhi. PTI NAV DIV DIV