Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Friday that instead of asking why Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have not visited Rajasthan’s Baran, senior Bhartiya Janata Party leaders should go to the district themselves to know the ground reality, PTI reported. 

Two minor sisters were allegedly raped at Baran in September, around the time a 19-year old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by four men at Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. 

Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Thursday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police after they were stopped from marching towards Hathras to meet the family members of the woman, who died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday.

Gehlot said the role of opposition leaders is pivotal in a healthy democracy and by preventing Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi from going to Hathras, the UP government has proved that it wants to hide things.

“Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi trust our words and reports. Why don’t senior BJP leaders like Amit Shah or Dharmendra Pradhan visit Baran or anywhere in the state to know what actually is the ground reality,” Gehlot told PTI.

“We are open for this (visit). They should visit the place (Baran) and know the reality. We will not only allow them but if required, police protection will also be provided,” he added.

According to police, two minor sisters went missing from their home in Baran district on September 19. They were later found in Kota on September 22.

The girls were handed over to their families after recording their statements, police said, adding that the medical examination of the girls did not confirm rape.

Gehlot said incidents can happen anywhere but what matters is action and Hathras is an example of inaction.

“What happened in Hathras was very shameful,” the CM said.

“The victim’s mother kept crying and wanted to see her daughter for the last time, but the police did not allow and the body was cremated in the night hours,” he said.

“When a soldier is martyred at the border, the body is brought in a plane or helicopter and given to family members. We give this much respect and this is in the culture of the country. What happened in Hathras was shameful,” he added.