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Sonia Gandhi visits Nithari, criticises UP govt
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 06, 2007 09:27 IST
Last Updated: January 06, 2007 11:25 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi reached Nithari village around 8.30 am on Saturday and has met the families who have lost their children in the serial killings.
Sonia met about 15 families of the victims and village elders, besides inspecting the areas adjacent to the infamous D-5, sector 31 residence of main suspect Moninder, including the drain from where the skeletons were found.
She sat with the families for about 30 minutes and spoke to them about the entire episode.
The families of the victims, most of them kins of migrant labourers, briefed her about the incident and complained about the state government's handling of the case.
Some of the victims' families were waiting with copies of the FIR and photographs of missing persons and demanded the harshest possible punishment for the culprits of the heinous crimes.
"Law and order ka naam to hai hi nahin. Yahan par aap zara aakar dekhiye kya haalat hai. Roz kuch na kuch ho raha hai. (There is no law and order. You can judge the situation for yourselves. Something or the other is happening everyday)," she said.
She also said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was forced to announce a CBI probe into the killings because of pressure from the Congress.
She promised to extend help to the victims on behalf of the centre and denied that the Congress had totally ignored the victims.
"We had sent the minister of state for home affairs. Renuka Chaudhary and Salman Khurshid have also visited," she said. However, she chose not to respond to a question about why she had taken so long to visit the place.
Uttar Pradesh police and the Special Protection Group had fortified the village for Sonia's visit. Her change of plans took the media by surprise as she was originally scheduled to visit Nithari in the evening.
Sonia's visit is expected to have a chain reaction and senior leaders from other political parties might soon make a beeline for Nithari.
The victims' families were waiting with banners and posters demanding the harshest possible punishment for the culprits of the heinous crimes.
The United Progressive Alliance chairperson's visit assumes much political significance ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled for this year.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has so far not visited the nondescript village in the industrial township of Noida.
With PTI inputs