Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday condemned the treatment meted out by Uttar Pradesh police to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when he was on his way to meet Hathras victim’s family and termed it as “gang-rape of democracy”.
Talking to reporters, Raut said Gandhi was a leader of a prominent political party and nobody would support the way he was “manhandled” by the police.
“We may have differences with the Congress party. He (Rahul Gandhi) can be stopped from going to Hathras citing imposition of Section 144 but the way police behaved with him holding his collar…the way he was pushed and then thrown on the ground was highly condemnable,” he said.
“This is ‘gangrape of democracy’ and the incident should be probed. Is this the way opposition leaders should be treated so that nobody asks questions? You can ridicule him politically as is always being done. But the way police manhandled him is an act nobody will support,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and several Congress workers were briefly detained in Greater Noida on Thursday for alleged violation of prohibitory orders while walking towards Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died on Tuesday, a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped near her village in western Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi also fell down in the scuffle after police tried to stop him and his supporters from proceeding on the Yamuna Expressway.
Raut also questioned the silence of those who targeted the Maharashtra government “as if heavens had fallen” when the illegal construction of an actress was demolished.
He was referring to Kangana Ranaut, whose bungalow in suburban Bandra was partially pulled down by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently following her war of words with the ruling Shiv Sena over her remarks on Mumbai.
When asked about reports that the Hathras victim was not raped as claimed by the Uttar Pradesh police, Raut asked if the victim had lied in her dying declaration.
The Sena MP also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should break his silence over the Hathras incident. He also criticised the curbs on media reportage of the incident.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena workers held a protest outside the Churchgate railway station in south Mumbai demanding justice for Hathras victim. They waved black flags and held placards.