Priyanka Gandhi | Photo: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: Keeping up the pressure on the Uttar Pradesh government in the Hathras gang rape case, the Congress on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Congress leaders Sushmita Dev and Udit Raj attacked the government and said the state government tried to cover up the case, and even denied the family the right to hold last rites for the victim.
Sushmita Dev said, "The government has constituted SIT, but who will inquire the CM. First the state government said there is no rape, and only brought the victim to Delhi when her condition deteriorated."
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is in-charge of the state, too demanded resignation of the Chief Minister. "Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as Chief Minister," she tweeted.
Priyanka Gandhi said she was on the phone with the Hathras victim's father when he was informed that his daughter had passed away. I heard him cry out in despair.
"He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites," she added.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras, who died in a Delhi hospital after sustaining grievous injuries during an alleged gang rape, was cremated early Wednesday in her village amid tight security.
"The police have forcibly taken the dead body, and my father along with them for cremation. When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken (to the crematorium) by the police," the victim's brother told the media.
However, Hathras police have denied the charges and have issued a notice saying the coercion being talked about on social media was a canard. It said: "The family cremated the body with due rituals under the supervision of police and administration."
The victim, who was paralyzed after being allegedly dragged on the field by her attackers on September 14, died at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday after battling for life for a fortnight.
Her mortal remains reached the Boolgarhi village around midnight and the cremation was done at 3 a.m. There was tension as the victim's mortal remains reached the village and people tried to block the ambulance from moving ahead.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Veer denied any 'urgency' by the police in holding the cremation at night even though cremations do not normally take place after sunset.
He added that the cremation was done by the family as usual after the body reached Boolgarhi village. The SP claimed that the situation is calm in the village, but heavy police force has been deployed.
The woman was allegedly raped in a Hathras village by four men, who were later taken into custody. Initially she was rushed to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh, but on Monday night had to be shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi after her condition deteriorated.