'Not Rahul, democracy has been pushed down': Twitterati applaud Gandhis after leaders roughed up, detained on way to Hathras

While some termed Rahul and Priyanka's response to the situation 'commendable', others noted the 'impunity' with which the Uttar Pradesh Police 'attacked' the Opposition leaders

FP Staff October 01, 2020 18:49:58 IST
'Not Rahul, democracy has been pushed down': Twitterati applaud Gandhis after leaders roughed up, detained on way to Hathras

Rahul Gandhi was stopped by the Uttar Pradesh Police from meeting the family of Hathras rape victim. ANI

Amid the national outrage over the Hathras gangrape and murder incident, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have garnered support from journalists and activists for trying to push for justice in the case.

The two leaders were reportedly arrested on Thursday after they set out on foot to meet the gangrape victim's families in Hathras. Earlier the police had stopped their convoy on the way to visiting Hathras.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted a video showing Rahul allegedly being roughed up as he marched forward on the Yamuna Expressway. Pictures of him falling down in the melee were also shared by the Congress.

Meanwhile, PTI reported that Rahul and Priyanka have been released and are travelling back to Delhi. They are being escorted by the Uttar Pradesh Police, the report added.

Soon after the scuffle on Thursday evening, Priyanka tweeted that an "arrogant" government was "demonstrating power over the dead bodies of innocent girls". "Instead of preventing injustice, it is conducting injustice itself. Our struggle will continue for a safe society and state for women - where they can live freely and move forward," she added in a tweet in Hindi.

While some termed Rahul and Priyanka's response to the situation "commendable", others noted the "impunity" with which the state police had "attacked" the Opposition leaders.

"If they can attack Rahul Gandhi, in front of cameras, we are all sitting ducks," said journalist Suchitra Vijayan, adding, "Using violence against dissent and protest is what the state always does."

JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda said that the state government should behave with "great care and caution" because the Congress leaders, along with others, are "fighting a just cause".

Activist and Congress ideologue Tehseen Poonawalla too slammed the UP cops for "pushing and detaining" the Gandhis for tyring to meet the victim's families.

SC lawyer Karuna Nundy tweeted:

According to reports, before his arrest, Rahul had questioned senior Uttar Pradesh cops over the law under which he was being stopped by them. He added that he wanted to walk alone towards Hathras to meet the rape victim's family.

"Can you tell me under which law can you stop me from marching towards Hathras?" he asked the cops.

"I want to go alone to Hathras and on what basis can you arrest me?" he said, to which the cops told him that he had violated Section 188 of the IPC of disobeying the orders promulgated by the government during the pandemic.

Others Congress leaders too voiced their support to the Gandhis.

"Lala Lajpat Rai had said that every blow of a stick on my body would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the British Raj. The sticks on Rahulji and Priyankaji's convoy will also prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the Yogi government," Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi.

In an article on Gulf News, journalsit Swati Chaturvedi quoted a Congress leader as saying, "It is not Gandhi being pushed to the ground it is Indian democracy.”

Former Union minister P Chidambaram alleged that none of the country's laws seemed to apply to the Uttar Pradesh Police. "UP police is a law into itself. None of the laws of the country seem to apply to it," he alleged.

"What is wrong if the leaders of a political party protest against a gruesome crime and wish to visit the victim's family," he asked on Twitter.

Chidambaram said the two leaders were not violent, they did not carry arms and they were lodging a peaceful protest. "Why should the police stop them from protesting peacefully? Why should the UP Police arrest the two leaders and take them away?"

"I hope the court where the leaders will be produced will release them," he said.

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