Villagers heckle Mins; Priyanka meets rape-immolation victim’s kin, Akhilesh sits on dharna
Politics took the centre stage on Saturday as anger mounted over the death of the Unnao rape-immolation victim at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Friday night. With family members of the victim and people at large calling for speedy justice, the situation was so tense that people heckled Uttar Pradesh Ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Kamal Rani Varun, who along with local BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, reached the village of the Unnao victim to meet her family members.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi met the family members of the victim and Akhilesh Yadav sat on a dharna outside the Vidhan Bhavan here on Saturday. The Yogi Government announced `25 lakh compensation and a house to the family of the victim.
A number of protesters, including some local Congress leaders, sustained injuries as police used force to disperse the crowd which gathered outside the residence of the victim. They shouted “Vaapas Jaao, Vaapas Jaao” (go back) and raised slogans against the State Government and Sakshi Maharaj.
The sloganeering continued for 15 minutes. Police used force against the protesters after which the two Ministers and the MP could be taken to the victim’s home, villagers said. The 23-year-old rape victim who was airlifted to Delhi and admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with 90 per cent burns after being set afire by the accused, including two rapists, died following a cardiac arrest at 11.40 pm on Friday.
Meanwhile, Priyanka alleged that the BJP Government had created such circumstances that there was no fear in the minds of criminals in the State, she urged the Government and the administration to take seriously the issue of violence against women.
“They (the BJP Government) are saying that there is no place for criminals in UP. But the way in which anarchy has spread and violence against women is taking place in the State, I wonder if in Uttar Pradesh there is any place for women,” she told reporters after meeting the deceased woman’s family members at their house.
Priyanka told reporters that during the meeting the victim’s family members narrated their ordeal of being harassed for a long time by their daughter’s perpetrators.
“A young girl (from the victim’s family) was threatened that her name will be struck off from school, so she did not dare to go to school. The (girl child’s) father was beaten up, and their agriculture field set ablaze in June. The family was tortured in every possible way. After that, all these things happened,” Priyanka claimed.
The Congress general secretary went on to say there were rumours that the pradhan of the village has links with the BJP, asking reporters to find out the truth behind it.
“There are possibilities that he may be given patronage. In the past, we have seen that there were prominent accused persons who were protected. Such type of incidents are happening on a daily basis,” she said, adding that the issue should not be turned into a political one and that the Government should find out why such incidents happen in the State on a regular basis.
“Today, there is no fear among criminals in Uttar Pradesh. If someone can barge into their home, beat her (the girl child’s) father, threaten the children and women, and also set the agricultural field ablaze, obviously, there is no fear in their (criminals’) minds. The Government must take seriously why such circumstances exist in UP,” she told reporters.
In Lucknow, police lathicharged Congress workers who staged a protest against the Government in Hazratganj.
Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the growing incidents of crime against women and direct the Centre to take prompt steps for effectively checking them.
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh, she said incidents of rape, murder and molestation are taking place all over the country, but in UP, such cases have been “excessive”.
“It is a matter of deep regret that during the past some years, especially since the BJP Government has come to power, women are not safe. This is not the only incident, in UP I said it yesterday also that there is not a day when there is not an incident of rape and murder, attempt to rape or molestation,” Mayawati said at a Press conference here.
Not to be left behind, Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sat on a dharna outside the Vidhan Bhavan here on Saturday, accusing the Yogi Adityanath Government of failing the Unnao gangrape victim who was set on fire and died at a hospital in Delhi.
Terming the day a “Black Day”, he demanded that the BJP Government in the State be removed. Accompanied by senior party leaders, Yadav squatted before the main entrance of the Vidhan Sabha and said his party will agitate against the Government in all district headquarters.
“What help you have given to the family of the girl? Will you run your Government in this manner?” Yadav asked.
“A Government which is giving sorrow and creating difficulties. Our demand is that this Government should be removed. The party will agitate for people, and in this regard the Samajwadi Party will hold ‘shok sabha’ (condolence meetings) in all district headquarters. It will be in memory of all the daughters, who had lost their lives,” he told reporters.
Facing all-round flak, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has termed her death “extremely sad”. He said in a statement that all the accused have been arrested and the case will be tried in a fast-track court and punishment will be served.
Adityanath announced an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the family of the Unnao rape victim. Other facilities to be extended to the family will be looked at the local level.
Senior UP Minister Swami Prasad Maurya who was sent to Unnao to meet the bereaved family, also made an announcement in this regard there.
“The Chief Minister is very much with the family of the deceased in this hour of crisis. The culprits will be dealt with sternly and punished. A fast-track court will be set up with this view in mind,” Maurya said.
Besides Rs 25 lakh, the family will be given a Government house, he said.
Sunday, 08 December 2019 | PNS | Unnao
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