Trinamool MPs stopped from visiting Hathras victim’s family, allege police roughed them up

Published : October 02, 2020 20:50 IST

Derek O'Brien, MP of the Trinamool Congress and other other party members on a dharna at the place where they were allegedly manhandled by the UP Police and stopped from proceeding to the Hathras victim's house. Photo: ANI

A delegation of MPs and leaders of the Trinamool Congress were allegedly manhandled by the Uttar Pradesh Police when they were stopped from visiting the family of the gang rape victim at Hathras in UP on October 2. Derek O’Brien, the chief national spokesperson of the party and Leader of the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha, was seen falling down in a scuffle with the police just outside the village where the victim’s family resides. Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Pratima Mandal claimed that she was “touched inappropriately by a male officer of the Uttar Pradesh police”.

The Trinamool leaders including Derek O’Brien, Pratima Mondal, Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, and former Lok Sabha MP Mamata Thakur travelled more than 200 km from New Delhi before they were stopped by the police 1.5 km from the house of the victim. Narrating the incident, Pratima Mandal said, “When we were headed to meet the Dalit victim’s family in Hathras to express our solidarity, Yogi government’s police stopped us. I am an MP and a woman from the Scheduled Caste community. Why was I not allowed to enter? ...They violated the respect of a Dalit woman today. Imagine the irony, it is October 2 today, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. On a day like this, if the Yogi government’s police force can behave so inappropriately with an MP, imagine how they behave with the women of the State and the general public.”

According to the official statement from the Trinamool Congress, another MP said, “What kind of jungle raj is this that elected MPs are being prevented from meeting a grieving family.” The Trinamool delegation sat in a dharna at the place where they were stopped.

On October 1, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stated on social media: “Have no words to condemn the barbaric & shameful incident at Hathras involving a young Dalit girl. My deepest condolences to the family. More shameful is the forceful cremation without the family’s presence or consent, exposing those who use slogans & lofty promises for votes.”