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 gang rape victim.
The BJP unit of West Bengal, 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.
A statement issued by the party said the delegation, led by the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien, wanted to meet the family members of the 20-year-old Dalit woman, and express their solidarity with her grieving parents.
Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Mamata Thakur, all parliamentarians, were the three other members of the delegation.
Condemning the incident, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee claimed that the 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 to a Dalit girl and is busy hushing up the matter, is now using brute force against opposition,” he said.
Television visuals showed Mr 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.
Senior TMC leader Sougata Roy said the UP government was trying to “hide the truth”.
“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 so afraid that they had to issue prohibitory orders… We condemn it,” Mr Roy said.
The party’s official Twitter handle said its MPs are staging a “dharna around a kilometre away from victim”s home, after being manhandled and roughed up by the UP police”.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, slammed the TMC for trying to “politicise” the issue.
“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,” he said.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and around 150 of their party workers were briefly detained in Greater Noida on Thursday for alleged violation of prohibitory orders while walking towards Hathras to meet the family.
The 20-year-old was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She was referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Monday with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue.
She died around 3 am on Tuesday. Her subsequent cremation in the dead of night at Hathras, allegedly under police pressure, has led to an outrage over the law and order situation in UP.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)