A Congress party activist protests near the vehicle of Union Minister Smriti Irani, over the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman after an alleged gangrape in UP's Hathras
A Congress party activist protests near the vehicle of Union Minister Smriti Irani, over the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman after an alleged gangrape in UP's Hathras
PTI

A group of Congress workers blocked the cavalcade of Union minister Smriti Irani in Varanasi in protest against the alleged gang rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh and her remarks that Rahul Gandhi was playing politics over the incident.

The protesters raised raised anti-government slogans and demanded justice for the woman's family.

Congress spokesman Lalan Kumar said here that protesting party workers were later arrested.

The Union minister is in Varanasi to hold a dialogue with farmers and agriculture scientists.

Irani said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's visit to Hathras is a political gimmick with no intention of seeking justice for the victim's family.

While speaking to media Irani said, "People are aware of Congress's tactics and that is why they ensured a historic win for BJP in 2019 polls. People understand that their (Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi) visit to Hathras is for their politics and not for justice to the victim."

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra decided to travel to Hathras village on Thursday to meet the 19-year-old Hathras incident victim's kin. They were stopped midway by the Uttar Pradesh Police and hundreds of Congress workers along with the Gandhis were detained for breaching the state law that barred public movement during the pandemic.

They made another attempt on Saturday and were allowed by the police to cross into UP.

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 the 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".

(With agencies)

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