Amid controversies, Rahul visits dalit families

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Amethi, June 2: Even as Uttar Pradesh government and other opposition political parties termed the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's visit to a dalit house a mere ''political stunt'', the Congress leader along with Priyanka and Robert Vadra today visited the Kochit village in Sultanpur district and condoled the deaths of dalits killed in a road mishap on May 26.

Mr Rahul Gandhi was here as a chief guest for the final match of the Rajiv Gandhi Rural 20/Twenty cricket tournament. The Congress leader managed to steal some time from the local tournament, which started on April 15 last with 1,857 teams of Amethi, and reached the Kochit village at around 1200 hrs.

During his 15-minute visit, he assured free treatment to the injured in Munshiganj hospital, besides giving patient hearing to the victim's family.

Ms Priyanka, dressed in simple Indian attire, also expressed her profound grief to the family of the deceased.

However, the state government had already announced ex-gratia of Rs 20,000 to the family of the deceased yesterday.

Ms Priyanka's son Rihan, who accompanied his family to watch the rural match in Amethi reportedly appeared in a ''state of anxiety'' after seeing his family interacting and condoling the poor villagers.

However, the cricket freak boy, who was wearing 'IPL T-20 Kolkata Night Riders T-shirt' stood against his father Robert Vadra giving a silent look to the villagers.

On May 26, three dalit women and a boy were crushed to death and 37 others sustained serious injuries after their overloaded tractor-trolly overturned turtle in Jagdishpur area of Sultanpur district.

The deceased were identified as Surajpati (45), Shayamrati (45), Siyaraji (45) and Amarjit (10).

UNI

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