DND crippled as Rahul, Priyanka cavalcade heads to Hathras
New Delhi: Massive traffic jams were witnessed on the Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway on Saturday afternoon as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s cavalcade moved on the 9.2 km stretch to meet the kin of the 19-year-old Hathras girl who died four days ago following alleged gang-rape by ‘upper-caste men’.
The eight-lane flyway almost came to a standstill as the police closed all exit toll gates of the DND with barricadings all across to stop the movement of Rahul and Congress General Secretary Priyanka — the second such attempt by the Gandhi siblings in a week.
People got stuck on the flyway for more than one-and-a-half hours as each and every vehicle was checked by the police to ensure that Congress leaders could not enter Uttar Pradesh through the stretch that connects Delhi to neighbouring Noida.
Before moving to Hathras, Priyanka on Saturday made it clear that she will meet the victim’s family “even if the police does not allow her to go there”.
Speaking to IANS before leaving the Congress headquarters here along with Rahul in their Toyota Innova vehicle, Priyanka said, “I will visit Hathras at any cost even if the police does not allow us.”
Priyanka drove the vehicle with her brother Rahul sitting next to her.
Along with the two leaders, dozens of Congress MPs including Shashi Tharoor are also travelling to Hathras.
Speaking to IANS, Tharoor said, “It is a terrible incident and we have to show our respect for the girl. Whatever has happened, nothing worse can happen in this country.”
Following the travel plan of the Congress leaders to Hathras, the Uttar Pradesh Police has made adequate arrangements at the DND.
On Friday, Priyanka Gandhi visited Delhi’s Valmiki temple to attend a prayer meeting for the girl who died on Tuesday at a government hospital in Delhi.
Priyanka has said that the family of the victim should not feel alone at this point of time.
On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi was pushed to the ground by Uttar Pradesh Police personnel when he was marching towards Hathras after their vehicles were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Gautam Budh Nagar.
The Congress leaders were also detained by the Police and a case was registered a against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Congress leaders on Thursday alleged that the police resorted to lathi charge on them when they tried to march towards Hathras.
The Uttar Pradesh government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the the death of the 19-year old girl.
The Uttar Pradesh government also suspended several officials on Friday evening.
Uttar Pradesh Police personnel had sealed the village barring the entry of any mediapersons for the last two days. However, the media was allowed to enter the village earlier today.
The 19-year-old girl, who died on Tuesday at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, suffered fractures, paralysis and a spinal injury after the savage assault.