Rahul accuses Maya govt of mass murder, rape
TNN | May 17, 2011, 04.06am IST
NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi accused the Mayawati government of mass murder
and rape in villages barely 15 km from the Capital in a stunning
charge that raised his confrontation with BSP over the crackdown on
agitating farmers to a new level.
Following up on his visit to Bhatta Parsaul in Noida on Wednesday,
Rahul said there was 17-feet high heap of ashes with dead bodies
inside, hinting that rampaging cops killed and burnt farmers in big
numbers contrary to the official toll of two. "Everybody in the
village knows it. Women were raped, people thrashed, houses
destroyed," he said.
Mayawati administration dismissed the claims as rumour mongering and
alleged that Opposition parties provided illegal arms to anti-social
elements to create disturbance in the village. "These elements were
responsible for attacks on police and district officers which two
policemen dead and the DM critically injured," a BSP statement said.
Sources said the government was collecting the ashes, which Rahul
claimed contained human remains, and was sending them to Lucknow for
forensic tests to check the veracity of his claims.
Rahul said Bhatta and Parsaul apart, the story was the same in
villages down the Agra highway where state oppression had resulted in
murder and rape. "There are severe atrocities in Noida. People were
killed, raped. So I am quite concerned. Situation is still pretty bad
there," he said. The party also released pictures taken in the village
during Rahul's visit to back accusations of "police oppression".
The sensational claim came after Rahul accompanied a group of farmers
from the two villages to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday
evening to complain about police action. "They had a good
conversation. The PM heard them quietly, so they are happy," he said.
Importantly, he added that the Centre was committed to Land
Acquisition Amendment Bill and hoped it would be passed in the coming
session of Parliament. The statement amounts to assigning a tough task
to the Manmohan Singh government as Mamata Banerjee, who has held up
passage of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, has not softened her
opposition to its present form.
The shocking accusation of mass murder -- sure to rile the CM who
ridiculed Rahul's visit to Noida as a desperate move of "a sidelined
Congress prince" – will further stoke the 'Congress vs BSP' battle.
The AICC heir apparent's pouncing on farmers' cause with his surprise
visit and now the accusation of mass graves near the Capital indicates
a crying bid to replicate Nandigram in UP.
The Nandigram-Singur protests against land acquisition and resultant
police action upturned the political equations in Bengal in favour of
Trinamool Congress. The Noida issue's proximity to Mamata's landslide
With barely one year left for Assembly polls, the Congress aggression
against Mayawati matches its ambition to jump from the fringes of
state politics to the centrestage. Congress thinks the CM is
vulnerable because the agitation over land acquisition has the
potential to strike a chord across regions of the predominantly rural
Congress is set to sound its poll bugle this week with a two-day
conference in Varanasi. Mayawati alleged as much when she ridiculed
Rahul's Noida visit as motivated by election considerations.
However, the Congress leader decided to carry on with his bid to paint
the BSP regime as "anti-farmer". He said on Monday, "What I am
concerned is how we are treating our own people. Most people are ready
to give land for roads etc. Most people are ready for sacrifice. But
the issue is do we treat them fairly or brutalise them. After all,
they are Indians and we have to look after them."
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