Rahul, Priyanka among 5 allowed to proceed to Hathras: Noida Police

Only five members of a delegation of MPs led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have been permitted to go to Hathras via Noida considering the restrictions imposed under CrPC Section 144, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police said on Saturday.

The Congress leaders are headed to Hathras in western UP to meet the family of a Dalit woman who died on Tuesday in a Delhi hospital, a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four men outside her village.

"CrPC Section 144 has been imposed in Noida, Greater Noida as well as in Hathras and some other districts in Uttar Pradesh due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Considering the social distancing and other related norms, permission has been granted for five people, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra," Police Commissioner Alok Singh told PTI.

Succeeding in his second attempt to meet the victim's family, Rahul made the announcement from the Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway where he, Congress General Secretary Priyanka and various Congress MPs and supporters were stopped by the police from entering Uttar Pradesh in the afternoon, leading to massive traffic jams with people stuck on the 9.2-km stretch for more than one hour.

"Five Congress leaders have been allowed to visit Hathras," announced Rahul Gandhi.

Sources said that Congress leaders K.C. Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and P.L. Puniya will be accompanying Rahul and Priyanka to Hathras.

It was Rahul and Priyanka's second attempt to visit Hathras. On Thursday, Gandhi was pushed to the ground by Uttar Pradesh Police personnel when he was marching towards Hathras after their vehicles were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Gautam Budh Nagar.

Congress leaders were also detained by the police and a case registered against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

(With agencies)

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