Hathras gang-rape: Mamata Banerjee terms 'forceful' cremation of victim's body as 'shameful'
Kolkata, Oct 01: Terming the Hathras gang-rape incident as "barbaric and shameful", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the "forceful cremation" of the victim has exposed those who use lofty promise and slogans to seek votes.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped in Hathras in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.
"Have no words to condemn the barbaric & shameful incident at Hathras involving a young Dalit girl. My deepest condolences to the family. More shameful is the forceful cremation without the family's presence or consent, exposing those who use slogans & lofty promises for votes." Banerjee said on Twitter.
The body of the woman was cremated in Hathras in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging that the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of night. Local police officers, however, said that the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".
Meanwhile, Congress party in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and brother Rahul Gandhi is expected to make a visit to the family of the Hathras gangrape victim today. Ahead of their visit, Section 144 has been imposed in Hathras.
Priyanka Gandhi spoke to the victim's family and had assured them that she would visit their home. "Planning is being done, she can go anytime," sources said.
On September 14, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped allegedly by four upper-case men at Hathras. The victim succumbed to her injuries at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday, a day after she was admitted there. She had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and had been left struggling to breathe. Her body was cremated in the absence of her family members, in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Condemning the incident, Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter, "All this is a shameful move of the UP government to suppress the Dalits and show them their "place" in the society. Our fight is against this hateful thinking."