Hitting out at the BJP over the Hathras gangrape incident, the Congress Tuesday questioned the "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and women leaders of his party, and alleged Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government has become the "crime capital” of the country.
The Opposition party’s attack on the Centre and the state government came after a 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras died at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi Tuesday morning, days after she was allegedly raped by four men.
The Congress also protested at the Vijay Chowk over the incident, demanding justice for the victim.
The party said its leaders PL Punia, Udit Raj, Amrita Dhawan along with other functionaries were detained at Mandir Marg Police station for the protest.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over the incident, saying the "class-specific jungle raj" of UP has killed another young woman.
"The government said that this is fake news and left the victim to die. Neither was this unfortunate incident fake, nor was the death of the victim and the mercilessness of the government,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government, alleging there is "no semblance of security” for women in the state.
"A Dalit girl who was victim of demoniac behavior in Hathras has passed away at Safdarjung Hospital. For two weeks, she struggled between life and death in hospitals,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
"For two weeks, she struggled between life and death in hospitals,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
She said incidents of rape one after another, in Hathras, Shahjahanpur and Gorakhpur have shaken the state.
"Law and order in UP has deteriorated beyond limits. There is no semblance of safety for women. Criminals are committing crimes in the open,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
The killers of this girl should be punished severely, she demanded.
"You are accountable for the safety of women in UP,” the Congress leader tweeted, tagging Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that for eight days no gangrape charges were pressed in the matter and only after the media reported it, the police registered a case.
She also alleged that the UP chief minister’s information advisor and the Agra Police, up until September 24, kept calling this "fake news".
"Questions still remain. Why did it take eight days for the UP police to register a gangrape case on her complaint, why was she immediately not transferred to a premier institute like AIIMS, and instead was left to die in UP? Why is it that these men who brutally assaulted, raped and murdered her, do not face NSA (National Security Act) charges and why is it that the UP chief minister is absolutely quiet on this?” Shrinate asked.
Claiming that there is no law and order in UP, she alleged the police are "hand in glove” with criminals and the government extends them political patronage”.
"I will also raise questions on the absolute conspicuous silence of the prime minister, and women leaders of the BJP who had at one point in time said it is their moral duty to raise their voice on crimes against women and today when they are in charge of those departments, they do not utter a word,” she said.
If one does not condemn this, then one is very much "hand in glove" with the criminals, Shrinate said.
The Congress demands justice for the rape victim and the culprits should be brought to book, she said.
It should be a speedy trial, and the UP government should apologise to her family for calling it "fake news" for as long as they did, Shrinate added.
Citing that crimes against women had taken place in various cities in the state such as Hathras, Unnao, Shahjahanpur, Gorakhpur, Barabanki and Lakhimpur, Shrinate alleged that women are subjected to brutal rape, assault and murder in the state and the government "keeps quiet and turns the other way".
"UP is today the crime capital of the country not just in murder and extortion, but in rapes and molestation. When will this end? The reason that it is not ending is because the UP government has tainted members, she said. Will the members who face criminal charges of rape and murder be responsible for enforcing law and order in the state," she asked.
Out of about 312 BJP MLAs, 83 face serious charges such as murder and rape, Shrinate claimed.
"We stand in solidarity with the victim’s family. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family,” she added.
The woman was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 following which she was admitted to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh.
She was referred to the Delhi hospital on Monday after her condition showed no signs of improvement.
On September 14, the woman had gone to the fields with her mother and had gone missing soon after.
She was later found brutally injured, with her tongue having a serious cut as she bit it while the accused attempted to strangulate her, an SP had said, while giving details of the incident.