New Delhi: Businessman Robert Vadra, husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Thursday said that parents of a victim of alleged Hathras gangrape should have been allowed to “make a decision of how they would like to give her last rites”.
He also sought the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying it is “a promising state but nothing is going to come about if we are ruled by people who don’t know how to rule and who can let this thing pass”.
In an interview with ANI, Vadra said that men need to change their attitude towards women and learn to respect them.
He said that Congress leaders have a right to meet the family of the victim and alleged that “state boundaries were sealed” to prevent Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi from entering the state.
Raising questions over the manner of cremation of the Hathras victim on Wednesday, he said “they (the police officials) cremated her, they went ahead and did whatever they had to do”.
“Who allows them to go and cremate a person at night or 1 is in the morning. Can this happen without the administration knowing, it’s impossible. They cremated her, they went ahead and did whatever they had to do. I wish that her soul rests in peace,” Vadra said.
“Look what’s happening, the whole of India, every political party is coming together. You can have forensic teams, and other doctors say that it wasn’t like this, but at least let the parents make a decision of how they would like to give her last rites,” he added.
Uttar Pradesh Police said on Thursday that the forensic report of the Hathras victim, who succumbed to her injuries following an alleged gang rape, showed “that the woman was not raped”. Earlier, Aligarh hospital’s medical report of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who succumbed to an assault by four upper-caste men, did not confirm rape.
State government officials have also said that “consent of the family” was taken before the victim was cremated in “wee hours” on Wednesday.
Strongly condemning the Hathras incident, Vadra said, “we have to make an example of those people who did this incident to eradicate or stop this from happening again”.
“When my family, Rahul and Priyanka are trying to meet the parents and speak to them and give some support, police are being sent to the borders, borders have been sealed and they are saying it’s only because of COVID-19. How come the borders were not sealed till yesterday or two days back? How can they say we don’t have regard for COVID-19?” Vadra questioned.
Congress said that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were “arrested by the UP police” on Thursday while they were on their way to meet Hathras victim’s family.
Vadra said Hathras incident has troubled Priyanka Gandhi.
“I haven’t seen Priyanka for the last 2-3 days. Like me she is most horrified with this incident, most troubled, and she is speaking to everyone and wanting to reach out and trying to do whatever and how do we make sure that this never occurs again. So keeping that in mind, I don’t know how safe she is but she is unstoppable and Rahul is unstoppable, they will go and fight for any incident that happens anywhere in the country. Even if it’s a Congress-ruled state or any other political party or any other state and they will fight. Whatever little precautions need to be taken as far as COVID is concerned she will do that,” Vadra said.
Asked about Priyanka Gandhi’s reaction when she heard about the incident, he said: “Priyanka called me and said have you heard this…we couldn’t have our meals thinking about the parents who were crying and asking for the last rites they could have done. It just was done overnight, obviously, we were shocked and it’s unacceptable and we need to make a change, India needs a change. We need to make sure women of our country are safe.
“We have a daughter, we call her up and check and make sure she is okay. This is not normal, we are panicking, what is happening in our country. In UP it is happening every few hours, and why does it happen because those people think they can get away with it. We have to make sure that thought process changes,” he said.
Vadra slammed Yogi Adityanath for law and order situation in the state.
“If the CM cannot run his state and make sure everything is safe for people, I can’t even say it is safe for women. Every day there’s some criminal activity, and there’s nothing we can expect from UP with this CM sitting there. Therefore, we need a change, it’s a promising state but nothing is going to come about if we are ruled by people who don’t know how to rule and who can let this thing pass. And it’s showing every day, it’s going back in time, its unsafe. How do you go ahead from here?” he asked.
He said that in Uttar Pradesh the law and order situation has “really depleted”. Referring to another alleged gangrape in Balrampur in the state, he said, “We haven’t gotten over one incident and we just heard about another incident of a girl being drugged and then raped”.
Several political leaders have demanded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation over the alleged rape cases and law and order situation in the state.
“The people of a state chose a person to be CM. They have to have some accountability, responsibility not just words. They are in positions, and they have to understand their position and responsibility. They have to make sure there is s education, fear of law. If you take this incident and you act on it immediately, believe me, you (will) have a proper judgement on this. When the fear sets into a person, they will think twice and will not get into this kind of incident or mindset again. We have to change the mindset.”Vadra said justice should be provided to the victim’s family as soon as possible.
“You, me, everyone will say that they should be hanged, but we have to go by the law, and totally believe in our judicial system of the country that they will act on it. Talking about such crimes taking place in some countries, he said people worry about it, “because they will be stoned, their hands would be cut, they have the fear of that and will think twice before saying anything to women”.
“Having said that, I totally appreciate my country and I think the judicial system can take serious actions, they don’t have to wait eight years like Nirbhaya. In Nirbhaya, the parents had gone through too much. That’s what I look forward to, instant justice,” Vadra said.
Vadra asserted that people should learn how to respect women.
“We must respect women, we are equal to them, we might be troubled due to economy, joblessness…frustration should not come out on women and on anybody who they feel is weaker and they can control.
“I guess the women have had enough. They say they are not going to be treated like this. Overall, keep frustrations in control, meditate, run, and do something where you control your emotions,” Vadra said.