Tribune News Service
Hathras/New Delhi, October 3
Under public and political pressure over the mishandling of the Hathras crime, the UP Government on Saturday recommended a CBI probe into the alleged gangrape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman, moments after Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra met the victim’s kin at their village.
“With the objective of a thorough investigation into the Hathras tragedy and all related aspects, the UP Government is recommending a CBI probe into the case. We are committed to ensuring the strictest punishment for the perpetrators of this crime,” CM Yogi tweeted.
Addl Chief Secy Awasthi, DGP also meet family
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The Gandhi siblings, meanwhile, said the family had sought a judicial probe. The Dalit girl was allegedly sexually assaulted near her home on September 14 and died of grave injuries at a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, triggering protests especially after the police cremated the body by stealth at night against the family’s wishes.
“We will fight against injustice and will go wherever injustice is being done. No one can stop us,” Priyanka said after meeting the family for 45 minutes. The meeting took place after the UP Government buckled under pressure to lift barricades that had kept the grieving family off limits for visitors for over 48 hours. The visuals of Priyanka hugging the victim’s mother went viral as the tragedy-struck Hathras home teemed with crowd that followed the Gandhis. “I understand your pain. I also have a daughter,” Vadra told the family. The state administration today cited Covid protocol to allow people in groups of five to meet the family. They also said barricading was in place only to facilitate the SIT team, which completed its probe today.
Also, for first time since the crime, two high-ranking UP officials — Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi and DGP HC Awasthy — met the kin, who today collected their daughter’s ashes for immersion as per Hindu rituals.
The Gandhis earlier left for Hathras in an SUV driven by Priyanka, who was seen shoving cops along the Delhi-UP border to prevent them from baton-charging Congress workers. The Congress delegation comprised MPs, including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal, Partap Bajwa and Shashi Tharoor, and party workers. The Gandhis along with Chowdhury and Venugopal were later allowed to proceed to Hathras ending a 48-hour standoff. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, meanwhile, accused the Gandhis of enacting a political stunt and staging a visit to Hathras for political gains. Irani’s vehicle was blocked by angry Congress protesters in Varanasi today.