Uttar Pradesh government recommends a CBI probe into the case.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on October 3 evening met the family of the Hathras victim, declaring they will fight for justice to the Dalit woman.
“We will fight against injustice, and fight till justice is done,” Ms. Vadra told reporters after the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes.
Mr. Gandhi said no power can stifle the voice of the family.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government has recommended a CBI probe into the case.
Earlier in the day, the State government allowed Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Vadra to visit the village. This came after police officials tried to convince them that Section 144 was in place and that their visit would be a violation of the Epidemic Act.
Love Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order), Gautam Buddh Nagar, told reporters that a large number of workers turned up on DND flyway leading to a traffic jam. “When the Congress leaders persisted with their demand, they were allowed to go to Hathras in a group of five persons,” he said.
Senior Congress leaders K.C. Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and P.L. Punia have accompanied Mr Gandhi and Ms Vadra.
U.P. Police launched a mild lathi charge on the Congress workers who came to meet and join the leaders at the DND flyover. Former MP Kamal Kishore and Delhi Congress president Anil Choudhary faced blows. Ms Vadra came out of the car and held the lathi of a policeman. She could be heard asking not to hit the party workers. She also explained the situation to the party workers and asked them to return, before moving on.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Mr Gandhi said the same thing two days back. “He offered to go alone but was stopped,” he told reporters. He described the lathi charge as the “dictatorial” attitude of the state government.
At a press conference in Hathras, Avanish Awasthi Additional Chief Secretary (Home) said that public representatives would be allowed to visit the Hathras victim’s village provided they come in a group of five persons.
The officials met the family members of the victim on Saturday. “The three-member committee is looking into all the allegations of the family members. On the basis of its first report, action has been taken against four police officials,” he said.
After meeting the family members, Mr. Awasthi said “Family assured of strict action against the accused. The SIT will consider all aspects raised by the family. Security arrangements will continue in the village. We met the public representatives of Hathras and requested them of helping in maintaining social amity.”
Earlier, the Gautam Buddh Nagar police made arrangements to stop Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in Noida. A heavy deployment of police personnel has been made to prevent the Congress leaders from crossing the Delhi-U.P. border.
Police sources said Mr. Gandhi would not be allowed to cross the border as Section 144 was in place.
A video showed that Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Vadra had started towards the U.P.-Delhi border in a private car. They are expected to encounter a traffic jam on the way because of the heavy police deployment. Sources said vehicles were being checked on a key flyover.
Earlier, Mr. Gandhi tweeted that he would make another attempt to travel to Hathras and speak to the family of the 19-year-old girl who was brutally assaulted and murdered. The victim was cremated without the family’s consent at around 2.30 a.m. on September 30.
In a tweet in Hindi, Mr. Gandhi said that no force on earth could stop him from going to Hathras, meet the unhappy family and share their pain.
Mr. Gandhi will be accompanied by a party delegation. This is the second time Mr. Gandhi is attempting to visit Hathras. On October 1, he and his party members were arrested on the Yamuna Expressway and briefly detained at a guesthouse at Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.
Meanwhile, Prem Prakash Meena, Joint Magistrate, Hathras, told reporters that political leaders will not be allowed to enter Hathras. “Section 144 is still in place and the borders of the district are sealed,” he said.
State Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu tweeted that he had been put under house arrest by Uttar Pradesh police to prevent him from going to Hathras.
(With PTI inputs)