Chief Minister Adityanath on Wednesday spoke to the woman’s family and announced Rs 25 lakh as compensation. Earlier in the day, Adityanath formed a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the Hathras gangrape. The team has been directed to submit a report within seven days. He has also directed that the case should be tried in a fast-track court.
Four upper-caste men had raped and tortured a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh a fortnight ago, causing severe injuries, including multiple fractures. The woman had been initially admitted to the Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College And Hospital at the Aligarh Muslim University, but was moved to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Monday. She died on Tuesday morning. The four men have been arrested.
The woman’s body was cremated around 3 am on Wednesday in Hathras by policemen as they were allegedly locked up in their home. Videos on social media show the family arguing with policemen and weeping as the police insisted on cremating the body without allowing them to take the body home. Several politicians criticised the hasty cremation and called it an abuse of human rights.
Here are the day’s updates:
10.23 pm: Women lawyers of the Delhi High Court write to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to take note of the rape case and set up a HC-monitored inquiry and trial to ensure strict punishment for the accused, reports Live Law.
10.20 pm: The woman’s father says that Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath has assured that his family will get justice. “It is true that we didn’t get to see our daughter,” he adds, according to ANI. “We are hopeful that we will get justice.”
10.16 pm: Hathras MP Rajvir Singh Diler tells ANI that he had put forward the demands of the woman’s family before Chief Minister Adityanath, adding that they have been now fulfilled. “Justice will be delivered soon as the case has been sent to a fast track court,” he adds. “Culprits will not be spared.”
8.07 pm: Adityanath has announced Rs 25 lakh as compensation for the woman’s family, reports News18.
6.21 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath speaks to the woman’s family via video-conferencing, ANI reports.
5.55 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya says that “vehicles can overturn anytime in Yogi Adityanath’s state”, making an indirect reference to the alleged police encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey in July, ANI reports.
“The accused have been arrested, the case has been sent to a fast-track court and they would be sent to jail,” he says. “I think it is important to be a little patient right now, because I know that in [Chief Minister] Adityanath’s state, the car can overturn anytime.”
The police had claimed that Dubey was shot dead while trying to escape after the police vehicle carrying him overturned near Kanpur on July 10, a day after his arrest in Madhya Pradesh.
5.31 pm: Congress leader Udit Raj says the suppression of Dalits has increased under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party government. “When the BJP is in government, Dalit oppression increases, their security, education and employment are also adversely affected,” he says.
5.29 pm: All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev questions the silence of Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani over the incident. “She is a drama queen,” Dev says. “She has proven she has no conviction, zero integrity, she’s the worst, most shameless Woman & Child Development Minister in history of India.”
5.27 pm: The Congress is holding a special party briefing on the Hathras gangrape case, as part of its campaign seeking the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.
5.03 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says the surreptitious manner in which the Uttar Pradesh Police cremated the woman’s body was a “shameful ploy” of the Uttar Pradesh government to suppress Dalits and “show them their place”. “Our fight is against this hateful thinking,” he adds.
4.59 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police Prashant Kumar claims that the last rites of the woman was conducted with the consent of her family members and in their presence, as the “body was putrefying”, ANI reports. “The details of the [post-mortem] examination will soon be out and shared,” he adds.
Kumar says that the four accused arrested in the case will be tried for murder. “The prima-facie chronology indicates that the incident happened on September 14 and a complaint was registered,” Kumar adds. “Thereafter on September 22, the victim revealed that she was gang-raped. The charges filed, were altered accordingly. Now, the 4 accused will be also be tried for murder.”
4.14 pm: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) demands action against police officials who allegedly refused to file a first information report in the rape case and also against those who cremated the Dalit woman’s body. “The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the actions of the Adityanath government on the blatant denial of justice to the Hathras Dalit rape victim and her family,” the party says in a statement. “Her death is the result of the callous approach of the government.”
4.11 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Ajay Dutt alleges he was assaulted by senior police officers in Delhi when he went to meet the family of the 19-year-old woman, reports PTI.
4.06 pm: Congress leaders and workers stage protest against the Adityanath-led government near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi. The Congress claims that the police misbehaved with its leaders Amrrita Dhawan and Ali Mehdi during the protest.
3.21 pm: The Delhi police detain 60 activists for trying to protest against the victim’s death outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan, PTI reports.
3.18 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says the BJP government has committed a sin and crime by cremating the woman’s body in a hurried manner. “The conduct of her last rites by police in the middle of the night without the consent of the family is against the rituals.”
3.14 pm: Hathras police deny reports that the woman was cremated without her family’s permission, according to PTI. “The truth is that family members carried out the last rites of the body as per their rituals in presence of police and administration officials,” the police say in statement.
3.04 pm: Protests after the death of the Hathras rape victim spread to Haryana’s Bahadurgarh and Karnal areas, News18 reports.
2.31 pm: Women’s rights activists say the woman was robbed of dignity even in death after she was cremated at night allegedly without her family’s consent, according to PTI. “This horror gives you the full picture of what this crime is all about,” Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association, says, adding that the refusal of the government to allow a Dalit family to bid the woman farewell keeping with their customs reeks of caste supremacy.
1.19 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati condemns the manner in which the woman was cremated.
1.17 pm: National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma says the woman’s brother and father told her office that they were taken to the cremation ground but were not allowed to see the face.
12.22 pm: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi expresses outrage over the way the Hathras victim was cremated. “Even a ‘loathsome gangster [Vikas Dubey] was extended the basic dignity of being cremated in presence of his family members,” he tweets. “Why did Hathras victim’s parents have to face such mistreatment? What is this if not PATENT caste and class discrimination?”
12.12 pm: People from the Hathras victim’s community stage a protest in the city, ANI reports.
12.09 pm: Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal requests Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and other top court judges to take cognisance of the Hathras gangrape case, take immediate action against erring officials, give strict punishment to the accused and set definite mechanisms in place to stop crimes against women, ANI reports.
Maliwal also says that the incident has exposed the apathy and disregard of the system towards women, according to PTI. “The role of the police and the entire UP government is a matter of grave concern as for days the administration tried to pass of the matter as a dispute between villages and tried to cover-up the incident.”
She adds: “Had immediate action be taken on the pleas of the family and had the victim been shifted to Delhi earlier, we may not have lost another daughter.”
12.05 pm: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s colleagues allege that he and the group’s Delhi unit head Himanshu Balmiki were detained by the Uttar Pradesh police while they were on their way to Hathras to accompany the 19-year-old woman’s family, PTI reports. “There is no clue about the location of Azad and Balmiki after they reached Jewar toll plaza to get on the lane to Tappal, Aligarh,” Azad Samaj Party core committee member Ravindra Bhati says.
11.13 am: Uttar Pradesh Home Department Secretary Bhagwan Swarup, will lead the Special Investigation Team, reports PTI. DIG Chandraprakash and commandant (PAC Agra) Poonam will be part of the team.
11.01 am: The Hathras district magistrate denies the family’s allegations.
10.58 am: Congress criticises the state government.
10.50 am: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi demands the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath. “I was on the phone with the Hathras victim’s father when he was informed that his daughter had passed away. I heard him cry out in despair,” she says. “He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites.”
She adds: “Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as chief minister.”
10.48 am: Adityanath says Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to him about the Hathras rape and urged strict action against the accused.
10.45 am: “Even criminals are allowed dignified cremation,” says Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav. “Here is a rape victim being cremated by police at 2.30 am without family members. Could this happen if the family was not dalit? This is a matter of national shame. Our own George Floyd moment.”
10.44 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticises the cremation of the woman. “A daughter of India has been raped and murdered,” he says in a tweet in Hindi. “Facts are suppressed and in the end, her family’s rights to perform the last rights are snatched away. This is insulting and unjust.”
10.42 am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says: “The Hathras victim was first raped by some men and then yesterday, she was brutalised by the entire system. The whole episode is very painful.”
10.40 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath forms a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the gangrape. The team has been directed to submit a report within seven days. He has also directed that the case should be tried in a fast-track court.
10.37 am: Videos and images on social media from around 3 am showed a pyre being lit in Hathras district but there were no family members around.
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10.35 am: The woman’s family had said on Tuesday evening that they were being forced to return to Hathras as the authorities were trying to dispose of her body discreetly. The family, along with activists, were protesting outside the Safdarjung Hospital, demanding to know the location of the body. The woman’s father and brother were reportedly taken away by the police.
10.30 am: The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who was raped and tortured by four men two weeks ago, was cremated around 3 am on Wednesday in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh. Her family, however, has said they were not allowed to take her body home and were forced to perform the last rites.
“It appears that my sister has been cremated; the police are not telling us anything,” the woman’s brother said around 3.30 am. “We begged them to let us bring her body inside the house one last time, but they didn’t listen to us.”
Four men had raped the woman in Hathras a fortnight ago, causing severe injuries, including multiple fractures. The woman had been initially admitted to the Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College And Hospital at the Aligarh Muslim University, but was moved to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Monday. She died on Tuesday morning. The four men have been arrested.