Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Sunday evening visited the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who died after she was gangraped and brutally assaulted last month by four upper-caste Thakur men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, reported NDTV. Azad marched for nearly 5 km to meet the woman’s family after his car was stopped as he entered the district.
After he met the woman’s family members in her village, the Bhim Army chief called for upgraded security cover for them. “When Kangana Ranaut can be given Y-plus security...meetings are being held to back for the accused...” he said. “I demand that the government arranges Y-level security for the victim’s family. We have all seen that the CBI follows the government’s orders.”
Azad added that under the current political dispensation at the Centre, the Central Bureau of Investigation was being used only to scare people. “We want a probe monitored by a retired Supreme Court judge.” Adityanath on Saturday handed over the case to the central agency.
The Bhim Army chief also appealed to the administration to provide the security cover for the family, otherwise he would take them with him.
Earlier in the day, when the Bhim Army chief was stopped for the second time after entering Hathras, he addressed a crowd that was protesting against the incident. Following this, visuals showed him marching towards the woman’s village along with other members of his organisation.
Azad’s visit came a day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met the members of the woman’s family. Vadra continued her attack on the Uttar Pradesh administration and raised some of the family’s concerns on Sunday.
On Friday, Azad was part of the protest in Delhi, which was joined by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and several leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party. Hundreds of people gathered at Jantar Mantar to demand justice for the woman. Communist Party of India General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav were also part of the protest.
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. The autopsy report of the woman showed that she was strangled and suffered cervical spine injury, according to NDTV. The final diagnosis did not mention rape but pointed out that there were tears in her genitalia.
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.