Rahul, Priyanka and other Congress leaders detained after clashing with police enroute to Hathras

Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were taken into custody on Thursday evening, after the two along with a large contingent of Congress workers indulged in altercation with police enroute to Hathras.

The altercation between the two sides broke out after police prevented the Congress leaders from reaching Hathras and meeting with family of the murder victim, fearing law and order deterioration by political activities.

Rahul and other leaders were arrested under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which provides punishment for disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant. Along with the Gandhi siblings, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala were taken to Buddh International Circuit guest house in Gautam Buddh Nagar by the police.

The Gandhis had planned to visit the Hathras village and meet family members of the 19-year-old woman who died on September 29, two weeks after allegedly being tortured and raped by four men in Hathras.

Accompanied by Congress supporters, the Gandhis had started a foot-march to Hathras — more than 140 kilometres away — after their vehicles were stopped at the Delhi-UP border. Congress supporters and the police clashed in the ensuing chaos on the Yamuna Expressway.

In a few images which emerged from the Congress-police altercation, Rahul Gandhi could be seen shoving police officers. In some other images, Rahul could be seen falling on bushes. The Congress party sources claimed that he was forcefully pushed by police. While other sources maintained that he himself made the dive in order to garner sympathy for himself.

Earlier in the day, the local administration in Hathras sealed the district’s borders and imposed Section 144 to help maintain law and order.

The gruesome death of Hathras woman, has triggered nation-wide outrage. She died at the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on September 29. She had been shifted to Delhi from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh on September 28 after her condition showed no signs of improvement.

After death, victim’s body was cremated before dawn on September 30 in Hathras. The victim’s family has accused the police of not allowing them to take her body home prior to the cremation.