Rahul visits dalit girl in Kanpur hospital, main accused held

Kanpur, Feb 7 (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi todayvisited the Hallet Hospital here to meet the 16-year-old dalitgirl maimed for resisting a rape attempt and promised allassistance to her, even as the main accused in the case wasarrested in Fatehpur.

Assuring her family members that she would get justice,Gandhi gave her parents his office phone number and asked themto contact him whenever they faced any problem.

The Congress general secretary went to the Intensive CareUnit, where the girl is undergoing treatment after her nose,ear and a part of hand were slashed by three youths when shethwarted their attempt to outrage her modesty in Bindaki areain Fatehpur district.

Gandhi first enquired about her condition from herattending doctors and then spoke to her parents outside theICU.

Later, the girl''s father Badlu Ram told reporters thatGandhi heard the details of the incident and asked him if shewas facing any problem in her treatment.

Gandhi asked accompanying UP Congress chief Rita BahugunaJoshi to keep a watch on her medicare.

The teenager suffered a dozen deep gashes on her face,head and hand and was rushed to the Fatehpur district hospitalfrom where she was referred to Hallet Hospital here in aserious condition.

Outside the hospital, Congress workers raised slogansagainst the Mayawati government and clashed with police, whoused lathis to chase them away. Six persons, including threejournalists, were injured.

The youths - Shivom, Hari Shanker and Pawan - had forciblydragged her on Saturday when she had gone out for some work ina field and tried to rape her.

Main accused Shivom (25) was arrested today in Fatehpurand the axe used in the incident recovered, Superintendent ofPolice Ram Bharose told reporters.

This is the second arrest in the case after Harishankerwas nabbed yesterday. The third accused is still absconding.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mayawati is reaching heretomorrow and is likely to meet the girl.

The Chief Minister was earlier scheduled to arrive here onFebruary 13 to review the progress of development works.

Kanpur District Magistrate Mukesh Meshram said Mayawatihas changed her programme and will come tomorrow. But, he saidhe had no information as to whether she will meet the girl.

Meanwhile, a sobbing Badlu Ram told PTI that no girlshould be allowed to undergo the pain suffered by his daughterand demanded stringent punishment to the guilty so that itcould act as a deterrent for other wrong-doers in future.

The girl''s mother could not control her tears when shesaid, "My humble prayer is my only daughter should be saved."PTI ZIR

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