Hathras Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rajvir Singh Diler Sunday visited the Aligarh jail where the four accused in the gang-rape and murder case of a Dalit woman are lodged, but said he had not gone there to meet any inmate and that he was invited by the jailor for a cup of tea.
His visit prompted a strong reaction from the Congress which said it was 'most objectionable' for the MP to do so.
Talking to newspersons after his visit to the jail, Diler said he had gone to meet the Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), but on finding that the officer was down with COVID-19 he did not meet him.
"I had gone to the SSP's residence for some works of my supporters," Diler said.
The MP claimed when he was returning, he was stopped by some people of his constituency and when he was talking to them the jailor invited him to his office for a cup of tea.
"I had tea in his office. I had not gone there to meet anyone .Opposition parties are just raking up the issue. This charge (that I met the accused) is wrong," he said.
The Aligarh jail, which houses prisoners from the neighbouring Hathras district as well, is on the same road as the SSP's residence.
When asked if he had gone to meet the four accused in the jail, the MP said he should not be dragged into any controversy.
Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra said the BJP MP's visit to a jail where the gang-rape accused are lodged is 'most objectionable'.
The Hathras incident is being watched by the entire country and under such circumstances a visit by an MP to the jail where the accused are lodged is not a small issue, she said.
He should not have gone there under the prevailing circumstances, she said.
The Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14.
After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday.
She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out 'as per the wishes of the family'.