The TMC on Friday lashed out at the Uttar Pradesh government for unleashing “jungle raj” in the northern state, after its four-member delegation was stopped from meeting the family members of Hathras alleged gang-rape victim. The delegation had travelled about 200 km from Delhi, heading separately, to express solidarity with the grieving family of the rape victim and convey their condolences.
BJP’s Bengal unit, however, asked the TMC to stop “politicising the death” and take a look at its own track record when it came to tackling crimes against women. Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Mamata Thakur, all parliamentarians, were the three other members of the delegation. TMC’s Lok Sabha MP Mondal was allegedly manhandled, touched inappropriately by male officers of UP police following which the four MPs sat there.
Mondal and Thakur, both belonging to Scheduled Castes, lodged an FIR with the local police station against senior SDM for allegedly manhandling and roughing-up Mondal on her way to the victim’s house.
A copy of the FIR will be sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Mondal stated: 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 wasn’t I allowed to enter? She further said, “I was touched inappropriately by a male officer of the Uttar Pradesh police. They violated the respect of a Dalit woman today. Imagine the irony, it’s 2 October 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.”
Condemning the incident, TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee claimed that Yogi Adityanath government has let loose a reign of terror and “crossed all limits of decency”.
“Is it a democracy? MPs are being heckled and pushed to ground. How come police officers have this audacity to heckle members of Parliament? The state government, which has failed to protect a Dalit girl and is busy hushing up the matter, is now using brute force against opposition,” he said.
Television visuals showed O’Brien, dressed in white, being pushed to the ground when he tried to move ahead, despite being told not to do so by the police. “Those who tried to project themselves as champions of ‘Beti Bachao’ (campaign) are now trying to intimidate the family members of the girl. A jungle raj prevails in Uttar Pradesh. It’s a shame,” he said.
“The Yogi Adityanath government is trying to hide the truth, which is why it is stopping the media and the opposition party leaders from meeting the family members. Our MPs were unarmed and they just wanted to meet the family, what is wrong in it? They are so afraid that they had to issue prohibitory orders… We condemn it,” Senior TMC leader Sougata Roy said.
“The TMC should stop this drama. What is its track record in dealing with crimes against women? They (TMC leaders) should first look at their own track record and then lecture others. The UP government has taken action to deal with the situation,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.