Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were detained by Uttar Pradesh police on October 1, after the former was allegedly shoved and pushed to the ground by police personnel, as they made their way to Hathras district from New Delhi.
The Gandhis had planned to visit the village and meet family members of the 19-year-old woman who died on September 29, two weeks after being raped and tortured by four men in Hathras.
Accompanied by Congress supporters, the Gandhis had started a foot-march to Hathras -- more than 140 kilometres away -- after their vehicles were stopped at the Delhi-UP border. Congress supporters and the police clashed in the ensuing chaos on the Yamuna Expressway.
"I want to walk to Hathras alone. Please tell me under which section are you arresting me?" Rahul Gandhi was seen asking the police, in a video tweeted by news agency ANI.
"We are arresting you under Section 188 IPC for violation of an order," police responded.
“Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only people belonging to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walk in this country? Can only Modi ji walk in this country? Can't a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.
Many Samajwadi Party (SP) workers who were staging a protest in Hathras, demanding justice for the rape victim, were also detained by police.
Earlier in the day, the local administration in Hathras sealed the district’s borders and imposed Section 144 to help maintain law and order.
Various social and political organisations have targeted the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led state government over the "deteriorating" law and order situation.
The woman’s body was cremated before dawn on September 30 in Hathras. The victim’s family has accused the police of not allowing them to take her body home prior to the cremation.
She died at the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on September 29. She had been shifted to Delhi from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh on September 28 after her condition showed no signs of improvement. The four accused have already been arrested.
The woman’s death led to sharp reactions from various sections of the society, including the opposition.
BDST: 1640 HRS, OCT 01, 2020