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Political turmoil in UP, Section 144 imposed in Hathras, media -politicians banned entry

Lucknow: Hathras Dalit girl gang-rape and murder has created a political turmoil in Uttar Pradesh as several efforts by Yogi Adityanath government has refused to pacify the opposition and masses, who are continuing their protest and demonstration.

On Thursday morning, manual scavengers of Moradabad went on a lightning strike and refused to clean the city in protest against the Hathras incident.

The deceased girl belonged to the Valmiki community and similar protest like Moradabad is expected in other parts of the state too.

A 10 member Samajwadi Party delegation is expected to reach Hathras this morning while there are reports that Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra could meet the family members in Hathras soon.

However, police have banned the entry of politicians and media in the victim’s village from Thursday morning leading to more chaos and criticism of the government.

A team of Congress leaders coming from New Delhi was stopped in Noida DND while other political leaders were stopped in different parts of the state, who were trying to reach Hathras.

However, a senior police official told UNI on Thursday, defending its act said that people have been restricted entry at the village of the victim as it was hampering the SIT probe.

District Magistrate of Hathras, P Lakshakar in a statement said that borders of Hathras have been sealed after section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in the district. More than five people are not allowed to gather.

He, however, said that there is no information about the visit of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the district. “The SIT team would be meeting the victim family members today whereas media would not be allowed,” the DM said.

He further said that the family members too have requested the authorities not to allow the media persons inside their village so that they can live in peace after the death of their daughter. “The family members are happy with the government action and have accepted the compensation given to them,” he further added.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, though has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 25 lakh along with a government job and a house to the victim’s family besides an SIT probe and a fast track trial, the opposition is furious as similar incidents like Hatras have been reported from Balrampur and Bulandshahr.

The opposition political party leaders including Congress Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, SPs Akhilesh Yadav and BSP president Mayawati have tweeted on Thursday morning questioning the law and order in the state.

The opposition leaders termed that UP was in the state of “Jungle Raj” and the government should step down.

Meanwhile, the SIT led by home secretary Bhagwan Swarup met the family members of Hatras incident last night and recorded their statements. The team is likely to visit some spots and meet other people too on Thursday before returning to Lucknow. The team is scheduled to submit its report by next Tuesday.

On the other hand, Balrampur police have arrested two prime accused in the gangrape and murder of a 22-year-old student while the affected family have been provided with Rs 6 lakhs compensation.

In Bulandshahr too, the main accused have been arrested by the police.

But the opposition was more critical on the late-night cremation of the Hathras victim, without the family members and questioned the high handedness of the police.

Samajwadi Party MLC and spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan lashed out at the state government saying, “How do you think our daughters will become safe in Uttar Pradesh when incidents like Hathras will take place. We all saw how a Dalit girl was raped, her tongue was cut and her spine and neck were broken but the police didn’t register a case of rape from September 14 to September 22. We want to know why the Yogi Adityanath government is trying to save the culprits?”

“The history of this government has not been very good, two incidents from Unnao are examples of this. We all know on which side the government was in the Makhi incident when Kuldeep Singh Sengar was accused of rape. In another incident from Unnao (Bhagwantnagar), we all know on which side the government was standing. In Shahjahanpur, the government took the side of Chinmayanand and in Hathras also, the government seems to be standing with the four culprits. The government was not able to provide safety and security to the girl while she was alive and when she passed away, the administration forcibly cremated her body at 3 am in the night,” he said.

“I have said this today morning and I am saying it again, either Yogi Adityanath is not a Hindu or someone else is running the government. Which Hindu ritual asks you to cremate a body at night? The body was cremated secretly so that the Court could not order a post mortem again. The family kept begging and crying, her mother kept crying to see her daughter’s face for one last time but she was not allowed,” said Sajan.

The body of the victim, who died at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday, was cremated by the police and district administration of Hathras around 0300 hrs on Wednesday against the wishes of her family.

The victim’s family members said the police forcibly performed the last rites even though they wanted to bring her body home one last time and cremate her in the morning as per the customs. The victim had died two weeks after she was brutalised allegedly by four upper-caste men while helping her mother in the fields. She had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a gash in her tongue during the horrific assault.

Mr Bhuri Singh, the uncle of the deceased, told reporters on Thursday morning that police pressured relatives to perform the last rites in the middle of the night.

“The parents and brothers of the victim were not present on the spot, they were in Delhi and did not even arrive by the time the body reached the village. When we asked them not to perform the last rites at night and wait for the family, the police said that if you do not do it, we will do it ourselves,” he said.

However, district magistrate of Hathras P Lakshakar has denied the allegations saying, “The allegations that the funeral was done without family’s consent are wrong. The father and brother gave their consent to conduct the funeral at night. Family members were present at the funeral. Vehicle carrying the victim’s body was present at the village from 1245 hrs to 0230 hrs.”

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