Headlines October 4, 2020
Top UP officials meet family of Hathras rape victim
The Director-General of Uttar Pradesh Police, HC Awasthy, who is facing the heat for the poor handling of the gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit woman, was in Hathras on Saturday. He and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi, visited the victim’s family.
The visit is the first by such high-ranking officials comes as a wave of criticism has been directed at the Yogi Adityanath government over the Hathras incident and other such horrific crimes against women.
Images showed the top officials squatting on the ground as Awasthi folded his hands before the victim’s family with a large number of reporters around them.
He later told the media, “We have spoken to the family members and assured them that we will investigate the case properly. The Chief Minister has already formed a special investigation team and a woman officer is also a part of the team. The first report will be out tomorrow at 4 pm.”
The visit also comes a day after an angry Allahabad High Court summoned top officials on 12 October. The court said the matter was of “immense public importance… involves allegation of high-handedness by authorities resulting in violation of basic human and fundamental rights”.
Five policemen, including the Superintendent of Police, were suspended from Hathras district as the BJP government tries to stem the criticism coming its way. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed his government was “committed to the safety and security of women”.
The family of the young woman from Hathras has alleged multiple lapses from the police and government throughout the case. The police also triggered outrage after rushing to cremate the body at 2.30 am, after allegedly locking up the family in their homes.
Police have also been criticised for manhandling of opposition leaders looking to speak to the young woman’s family. Earlier this week both Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien were shoved to the ground by UP cops as they tried to reach Hathras.
The 20-year-old woman, who died Tuesday in a Delhi hopsital suffered fractures, paralysis and a spinal injury after a savage assault by four men from the so-called upper castes. The police said there was a gash in her tongue; she had bitten it while being strangled.
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