Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, amid countrywide outrage over the Hathras gangrape, on Friday said that his government was committed to the safety of women. The UP government is facing immense criticism about the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and the exploitative caste hierarchy under Adityanath’s tenure.
“Those who even think of harming mothers and daughters in Uttar Pradesh, their destruction is assured,” the chief minister said in a tweet. “They will get such punishment that will set an example for the future. The government of UP is committed to the safety and security and development of all mothers and sisters. This is our commitment and promise.”
On Wednesday, Adityanath had spoken to the woman’s family and announced Rs 25 lakh as compensation for them. He had also formed a three-member Special Investigation Team to investigate the case. The team has been directed to submit a report within seven days. He also directed that the case should be tried in a fast-track court.
The case has evoked massive anger among political circles and the public. Earlier on Friday, the Uttar Pradesh Police allegedly manhandled members of the Trinamool Congress, including MP Derek O’Brien, as they were going to Hathras to meet the young woman’s family. This came a day after the police briefly detained Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on their way to Hathras. The police later filed cases against them under the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, have criticised the Opposition for politicising the case. UP cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh called O’Brien “an amazing character of dramatics”.
“The entire issue is being politicised and people are simply touring Hathras,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “Mr Derek is one of my good friends. He is an amazing character of dramatics and has finally found a place in Hathras to exhibit his skills.”
Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, meanwhile, hit out at the Gandhis. “An incident as the Hathras one is definitely condemnable,” he said. “Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi marched to Hathras, but what about their stance on crimes against women in Congress-ruled Rajasthan. So their act is unfair.”
The Hathras case
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday claimed that the woman’s forensic lab report showed that she was not raped. Experts, however, pointed out that since the samples for the test were collected days after the crime, sperm would not be present, NDTV reported. The autopsy report of the woman showed that she was strangled and suffered cervical spine injury, according to the news channel. The final diagnosis did not mention rape but pointed out that there were tears in her genitalia.
Later in the day, the Allahabad High Court took suo motu cognisance of the Hathras gangrape case and directed top government officials and the police to appear before it on October 12. The judges said that the case had shocked their conscience.
Two weeks ago, the Dalit woman was tortured and raped by four upper caste men. The woman died on Tuesday at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. She had suffered multiple fractures and other serious injuries when the four accused raped her in her village on September 14. The four men have been arrested. However, the woman was hastily cremated on Wednesday midnight, without allowing her family to perform the last rites.