Gautam Buddh Nagar (Uttar Pradesh)/Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], October 1 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday condemned the "manhandling" and arrest of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who was detained on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to meet the family of gangrape victim along with party's general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress leaders.
"Strongly condemn manhandling and arrest of @RahulGandhi by UP police on way to Hathras to meet family of victim of #HathrasHorror along with @priyankagandhi. Is it a crime now to even share grief of an Indian? The voice of outraged nation can't be suppressed with high-handedness," Singh said in a tweet.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also condemned the attack on Rahul Gandhi stating that the latter was attacked by police and the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh on his way to visit the family of a girl who was brutally raped and murdered in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. This cannot be allowed in a democracy.
"Rahul Gandhi has every democratic right to go to Hathras. There is also constitutional freedom. The move to eliminate it all is ultimately anti-democratic. This cannot be allowed in a democratic society. The police assault on Rahul Gandhi is a reprehensible act," said Vijayan.
"The cowardly UP Govt has arrested Shri @RahulGandhi & Smt @PriyankaGandhi for seeking justice & trying to meet the bereaved Hathras victim's family. I appeal to all PCCs and @INCIndia workers to protest today against the arrest of Rahul ji, Priyanka ji & other party leaders," he tweeted.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that the "Reckless behaviour" of Uttar Pradesh police towards Rahul Gandhi is "extremely condemnable."
"Reckless behaviour of UP Police towards @INCIndialeader Shri @RahulGandhi is extremely condemnable. It is reprehensible for those who are supposed to uphold the law to trample upon the democratic values in such a manner," he said.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were taken into custody by the UP police at Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida when they were on their way to meet the family of Hathras gangrape victim, who died while receiving treatment in Safdarjung hospital in the national capital on Tuesday.
Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, "In times of sorrow, loved ones are not left alone. It is Jungleraj's wish in UP that meeting a family in mourning also scares the government. Do not be afraid so much, Chief Minister!"
Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, "Prevented us from going to Hathras. When we all went out on foot with Rahul ji, we were stopped repeatedly, used lathi in barbaric manner. Many workers are injured. But our intention is sure. The sticks of an egotistical government cannot stop us. I wish this lathi, this police would have stood in defense of Hathras's Dalit daughter."
According to police, the Wayanad MP was arrested under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala were detained by the police. All these party leaders, including Rahul and Priyanka, were being taken to Buddh International Circuit in Gautam Buddh Nagar.
The 19-year-old had succumbed to assault injuries in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday where she was brought on Monday from Aligarh Muslim University Medical College. (ANI)