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Rahul meets rape victims in UP; offers help

Last updated on: February 07, 2011 19:43 IST

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi travelled to Lucknow on Monday afternoon where he called on 17- year old Sarika, who is undergoing treatment after being attacked brutally by three young men belonging to her native village, Udauli in Banda district.

Gandhi also announced a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the victim. Uttar Pradesh Congress unit chief Rita Bahuguna-Joshi handed over the money to the victim.

Since the minor girl was still partially sedated, Rahul spoke at length to her father Badlu Ram , assuring him of "every kind of help that the girl might require."  He also praised the girl for fighting off her tormenters.

Gandhi spent about 15 minutes with the family and the doctors attending on the victim. "He even offered to get my \daughter treated in Delhi, but I told him that the UP government was providing free treatment at the medical college where a team of orthopaedic and plastic surgeons carried out several sounds of surgery to restore her deep gashes caused by a sharp axe with which the assailants atacked her", Badlu Ram told reporters after Rahul's departure  from

the heavily guardedsurgical wing of the medical college.

Earlier in the day the Congress leader's plane could not land in Kanpur due to poor visibility, but Gandhi did not give up. He  flew instead to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, from where he drove 120 km to reach Shahbazpur village in Banda to meet the 17-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and kept in captivity by ruling Bahujan Samaj Party legislator Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi and his henchmen.

Dwivedi, who is now behind bars, had got her jailed on false theft charges. Gandhi spent about 15-20 minutes with this  rape victim, who was released from jail last month on Chief Minister Mayawati's intervention and has said she wanted to kill the politician "with my own hands".

The Congress general secretary, who has been visiting Dalit homes across the country in a bid to enhance support for the party at the grassroots level, had a glass of milk at the victim's home in the village, officials said.

Sharat Pradhan