HATHRAS: Women Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders have lodged a complaint against Hathras Sub-Divisional Magistrate Prem Prakash Meena for allegedly pushing them and behaving indecently when they were going to meet the family of the alleged Hathras rape victim on Friday.
Lok Sabha MP Pratima Mondal and former MP Mamta Thakur, along with demanding an FIR be lodged, urged for action against the concerned official in the letter written to the police official in Chandpa police station, Hathras.
"We had arrived from Bengal to convey condolences to the victim's family. In a democracy, not letting a representative meet the aggrieved family is a murder of democracy," read the letter, roughly translated in English from Hindi.
Hathras SDM Meena had earlier refuted TMC delegation's allegations of being roughed up by Uttar Pradesh Police at Hathras border, saying that allegations are baseless and female constables requested them to stop but they forcibly tried to enter.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation, including party MP Derek O'Brien, was on the way to meet the family of the victim of the Hathras incident yesterday.
"The allegations of pushing female MPs are wrong. Female constables stopped them and requested them that no one is allowed inside the village. They forcefully tried to enter the village. We are not misbehaving with anyone," Meena had told ANI.
"The Special Investigation Team (SIT) is investigating the matter (the Hathras incident). No one is allowed inside the borders of the district. As soon as we will get orders, we will allow everyone inside," he had added.
The protest started when four TMC members, who came here to meet the victim's family, were stopped at the barricade placed at the entrance of the village.
Mondal on Friday said, "I have been manhandled by these people here. We just wanted to meet the family members. We told to allow at least one person to go inside if not all. But they didn't. If things happen with us in this manner, imagine how they behave with the commoners? This is appalling."
The party also said that Mandal was manhandled and pushed by a senior district official.
The party also shared a number of short video clips which showed its leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien being pushed to the ground by police personnel and Mandal being manhandled by the administrative official on the road, a few km away from the woman's house.
O'Brien earlier said, "We have filed a police complaint against the Hathras Sadar SDM with a request that it be turned into an FIR. We will also write to the Lok Sabha speaker on the matter."
In her complaint, Mandal wrote, "When we tried to meet the family this morning, SDM (Prem Prakash) Meena pushed me and tried to forcibly stop me. We have come from West Bengal to offer our condolences to the family of the victim. In a democracy to stop a public representative from meeting a victim's family is murder of democracy."
In the complaint to the police, a copy of which is with PTI, Mandal also alleged that Meena pushed her and misbehaved with her.
There was no immediate reaction available from Meena and any other official to the allegation.
TMC sources said that the visit of the MPs to Hathras was planned in such a way that chances of them being identified and stopped were minimal.
The delegation comprised MPs O'Brien, Mandal, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and former parliamentarian Mamata Thakur.
They travelled in separate cars from Delhi and met up 25 km ahead of Hathras.
They managed to enter the village of the woman, but were unable to meet the family.
"We requested the police that they let the women MPs meet the family, but they did not even allow that. Then the SDM pushed our woman MP and that's when we intervened and said that this cannot be allowed," O'Brien said.
He said Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and leader Ramgopal Yadav called him up and extended their support to them.
The delegation also staged a dharna on the spot from 12 noon to 3 pm, after which they filed the complaint.
"Wherever there are atrocities against Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, the socially challenged, the economically challenged, we will be there. To reach out, show solidarity, to give strength. All we wanted today from the shameless UP administration, was to allow two of our women MPs to meet and console the grieving family in Hathras."
"The two MPs were willing to walk the one km to the family home. That also was disallowed. The world and India saw what happened. Pratima Mondal, our LS MP, herself an SC, was manhandled by a male member of Ajay Bisht's jungle raj," O'Brien, the TMC's Parliamentary Party leader in Rajya Sabha, said later in a statement.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Thursday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police after they were stopped from marching towards Hathras to meet the family members of the Dalit woman.
Rahul Gandhi was also pushed in the scuffle on the Yamuna Expressway and he fell on the ground.
The woman succumbed to the severe injuries she suffered when she was allegedly assaulted by four upper-caste men -- later arrested -- in the fields at her village in Hathras district on September 14.
A senior police officer said in Lucknow that the forensic examination on the woman who died at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday did not indicate rape.
(With PTI And ANI Inputs)