Headlines October 1, 2020
UP Police cremate gang rape victim by force
The 20-year-old woman, who died after she was gang-raped and tortured in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, was cremated by policemen late at night after locking up her family in their homes. The videos at the scene show the family arguing with the policemen. The victim’s relatives threw themselves at the ambulance carrying her body and as the police insisted on taking the body straight to the cremation grounds without allowing them a last look.
The woman died in a Delhi hospital after she suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a gash in her tongue. As protesters outside the Delhi hospital chanted “hang the rapists”, the woman’s brothers complained that her body had been taken away by the UP police without their knowledge.
“We wanted the last rites to be performed according to the Hindu traditions. Despite our protests, the cremation was performed. They took the body forcefully. We couldn’t see our daughter’s face for the last time,” said the victim’s father.
All four attackers, upper caste men from the woman’s village, are in jail. They will now also be charged with murder. The UP police has been accused of rushing the cremation in a desperate cover-up attempt.
According to the family, the police had at first accused the woman of lying about her injuries. The police had initially registered an attempted murder case but added rape charges only after the woman’s formal statement a week after the incident, when she was able to speak.
Meanwhile UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the strictest action against the accused. A three-member panel has been set up to investigate the crime. The trial will be held in a fast-track court.