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Samajwadi Party delegation meets family of Hathras woman, assures help

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Lucknow, Oct 04: A Samajwadi Party delegation on Sunday met the family of the 19-year-old woman who died after she was assaulted and allegedly gang-raped in Hathras, and assured them of all possible help.

Akhilesh Yadav

Earlier, the party had alleged that its delegation members were stopped briefly at a toll plaza near Agra by police at the behest of the government when they were on their way to meet the family.

"This forcible stoppage is a murder of democracy.... Samajwadi(s) will stand with the aggrieved family in their fight for justice," the party tweeted in Hindi.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav had on Saturday set up an 11-member fact-finding team headed by the party''s state unit chief Naresh Uttam Patel to visit the woman''s village on Sunday and meet her family members.

Hathras case: Caste-based meet held in support of rape accused

After the delegation met the family, the party said in another tweet in Hindi: "A ''nyay yuddh'' (struggle for justice) is going on to deliver justice to the deceased daughter of Hathras by the Samajwadis. On the directives of the national president, the SP delegation met the aggrieved family, expressed its solidarity, and assured all possible help. SP supports all the demands of the aggrieved family."

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in a press statement issued in Lucknow on Sunday alleged that its vice-president Jayant Chaudhary and party workers were lathicharged by police when they were on their way to meet the Hathras family.

Condemning the police action, RLD''s UP unit president Masood Ahmed said, "The BJP is trying to suppress the voice of the opposition."

The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras 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.

She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".

The visit by the SP delegation came a day after the visit by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

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