Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien Stopped on Way to Hathras as Tempers Run High in the Region


Trinamool Congress leaders protest. — IANS

Centre of protest shifts to Delhi with Rahul, Priyanka, Chandrashekhar Azad and others planning separate marches in support of Dalit victim

Clarion India

HATHRAS, UTTAR PRADESH — Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien and other party leaders were stopped by the police on Friday when they were on their way to Boolgarhi village in Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old woman, who died after she was allegedly gang-raped a fortnight ago.

In other developments, the district administration banned the entry of the media in the village even as Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad announced his organisation’s plan to stage protests at India Gate at 5pm and while Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were headed to Delhi’s Valmiki Mandir for a prayer meeting for the Dalit victim. And the Aam Aadmi Party of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was gearing up to hold a candle-lit protest at Jantar Mantar.

According to media reports, the Delhi Police said permission has not been given for either gatherings in view of Section 144 imposed last month. Police said protests are permitted only at Jantar Mantar with prior permission and attendance of only 100 people.

The Trinamool Congress Party said, in a statement, that the delegation of its MPs was stopped by police around 1.5 kilometres from the victim’s home. O’Brien was assaulted by police, the party alleged. “A delegation of the Trinamool MPs that travelled about 200 kms from Delhi has been stopped by UP Police from entering Hathras,” the statement said, adding they “were travelling separately to express solidarity with the grieving family and convey their condolences.”

Videos have gone viral on social media showing cops roughing up O’ Brien. He (Derek O’Brien) was pushed to the ground, maybe he is injured too. He was attacked. How can they do it?, said Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar of TMC.


The delegation included Derek O’Brien, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Mamata Thakur (former MP).

Meanwhile, tempers ran high in Hathras after a heavy deployment of police was made around the village on Friday and even the movement of locals was restricted. Policemen were seen standing even in the fields to prevent media persons from reaching the house of the victim and meeting her family.

A local official who did not want identify himself, said that restrictions on media were in place due to Section 144 being imposed in the district.

In Lucknow, UP minister and government spokesman Siddhartha Nath Singh said, “Today, the Trinamool people tried to reach the village and their purpose was merely to register their presence in this situation. It is like ‘Main bhi hoon na’.”

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were prevented from going to Hathras on Thursday amid high drama on the Yamuna expressway.

A day after Uttar Pradesh ADGP Prashant Kumar claimed that the forensic report did not mention rape of the Hathras victim, the Congress on Friday asked the IPS officer to go back to a law school and update himself on the amendments made in relevant law in 2013.

Former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said: “The ADGP of UP would be well-advised to go back to a law school and update himself on the amendment made in 2013 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (rape).”

“He should also read the 1994 Supreme Court judgment in ‘State of UP vs Babul Nath’ on what was rape even before the amendment. Absence of traces of semen is of no relevance at all.

“The UP Police seem to be a law unto itself. The ADGP has donned the role of a court and is articulating absurd propositions of law that are contrary to the law declared by the Supreme Court,” added Chidambaram, a Supreme Court lawyer.

The Additional Director General of Police ((Law and Order) had said in a statement: “The forensic report clearly stated that no semen was found (on the body). We think some people took advantage of the situation, tried to disturb communal harmony, and create a caste conflict. We are examining this and will arrest those who try to vitiate the atmosphere.”

The police officer cited the forensic report and claimed that the 19-year-old died due to trauma on Tuesday.

The Allahabad High Court has since taken cognisance of the issue.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “A strong and encouraging order from the Lucknow bench of Allahabad HC. The entire nation is demanding justice for the Hathras rape victim. The HC order shines a ray of hope amidst the dark, inhuman and unjust treatment meted out to her family by the UP government.”

In Patna, over 150 members of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) burnt the effigy of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday to protest against the Hathras incident.
RLSP leaders said that Yogi should resign from his post immediately.

Earlier, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav blamed Adityanath through his tweet and said that the horrifying gang-rape case has shocked the entire government, police force, administration and judiciary of the country.

“Through this incident, BJP’s anti-Dalit and anti-women character has emerged again,” he said in a tweet.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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