Under fire for supporting actors, Ramdas Athawale to meet Hathras victim's fami...

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After drawing flak over seeking justice for actors while neglecting the Hathras gang rape victim, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has announced that he would be meeting the woman’s family on Friday.

Athawale was criticised for taking actor Payal Ghosh who accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Tuesday while not saying single a word on the Hathras rape victim who died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the minister announced that he will meet the family of the victim on Friday and also announced protests by his party, Republican Party of India (RPI) at Azad Maidan.

“I will meet the family of the victim on Friday,” said Athawale. “I will also meet Governor Ananddiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday and demand a fast track court to nail the victims,” he added.

The Shiv Sena has criticised Athawale saying that he was more concerned for justice for the actors instead of common people. “Athawale sought justice for an actor, but not for the poor girl from Hathras whose family was not even allowed to cremate her,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

In recent times, Athawalehas been supporting actor Kangana Ranaut who launched a tirade against the Shiv Sena and said the RPI will offer security to her. In addition, he also met Koshiyari protesting the demolition of Ranaut’s office and demanded compensation for her.

This evoked criticism of Athawale from both rivals as well as social media users who questioned the priorities of the Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment and pointed out that he seemed more interested in celebrities than Dalits.

Political observers rue that the Dalit leadership has bowed before the major political parties. “Athawale knows that celebs would attract more publicity for him than taking up the Dalits cause and hence favours them,” said political analyst Hemant Desai.

The woman in Hathras was allegedly attacked and raped on September 14 in a field near her home. Details of the barbaric assault emerged last week, and the woman was shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital where she battled for life till Tuesday.

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