Hathras gangrape: SC to consider plea seeking court-monitored probe; DMK leader Kanimozhi detained
The Uttar Pradesh Police has denied the woman was raped because of a medical report that said there was no presence of sperm in samples taken from her.
The Supreme Court will on Tuesday consider a public interest litigation seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or SIT inquiry, monitored by sitting or former judges of the top court or the High Court. The plea also sought a transfer of the Hathras gangrape case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, alleging failure of the state government to take action against the accused.
Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi and members of the party’s women’s wing were on Monday detained for holding a protest against the Hathras case without permission in Chennai.
The chief medical officer at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, where the Hathras gangrape complainant was first admitted, has said that a report that the police have cited to deny rape “holds no value” as it took samples well after the crime was committed.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said protests around the mishandling of the rape and woman’s death were part of a “conspiracy”, after his government has repeatedly come under fire. The administration is denying it was caste-based crime, though four upper caste Thakur men raped the woman. The state police had also forcibly cremated her body while her family was locked in their home.
Here are the day’s updates:
9.51 pm: All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev says the Special Investigation Team formed to handle case is a puppet of the state government, which is why Priyanka Gandhi and the woman’s family want a judicial probe.
9.48 pm: Here are some pictures of a protest against the Hathras gangrape at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
9.41 pm: The police in Hathras say they have taken into custody the man who threw ink at Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh.
7.27 pm: The Supreme Court will tomorrow consider a public interest litigation seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a court-monitored SIT inquiry, Live Law reports. The plea further seeks the transfer of the matter from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, alleging failure of the Uttar Pradesh government to take action against the accused.
7.14 pm: “A cruel rape happened in Uttar Pradesh, where a girl was brutally raped,” DMK MP Kanimozhi says, according to ANI. “Uttar Pradesh government is trying to hide the rape incident. Since BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government has come to power, crime against women have been rising.” Kanimozhi has been detained for holding this protest in Chennai.
6.46 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi and members of the party’s women’s wing have been detained for holding a protest against the Hathras case without permission, The News Minute reports.
They were marching to the governor’s official residence, according to NDTV.
5.38 pm: AAP leader Sanjay Singh criticises Adityanath after he was attacked with ink. “Cowardly act in Hathras,” he says. “We were attacked on our way back from ‘gudiya’s [the woman’s] house. Yogi Ji, you are not a Thakur, you are a coward. You can file as many cases against me as you want, baton charge me or get me killed, but the fight for justice for gudiya will go on.”
5.30 pm: A joint delegation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) will visit Hathras on Tuesday to meet the woman’s family, PTI reports. The delegation will include CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI General Secretary D Raja.
5.24 pm: Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar adds that the police have also filed a case against some people for trying to disturb communal harmony by circulating an audio of the woman’s family, “pressuring them for making wrong statements and enticing them with Rs 50 lakh offer”, ANI reports.
5.17 pm: The Congress criticises Adityanath for his dictatorial approach to the Hathras case and compares him to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, PTI reports. “UP CM Yogi Adityanath is acting like North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong,” the chief whip in Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi says. “The victim’s family is being suppressed and such things have never happened in the country’s history.”
5.15 pm: “Under a pre-planned conspiracy, few political workers were involved in disturbing law and order situation in Hathras,” Kumar adds. “They even spread rumours to incite general public. We have registered cases under relevant sections against them.”
5.12 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar says the police have taken action against some people involved in posted inflammatory content related to the case on social media, ANI reports.
4.39 pm: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee protests in Thiruvananthapuram, ANI reports. “It’s a state-wide protest against the Dalit atrocity in UP,” says Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala. “Modi government isn’t taking care of people’s anguish. Dalits are treated like animals. UP government must quit.”
4.27 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacks BJP after the Sanjay Singh incident. “Sanjay ji, you have been speaking fearlessly against the injustice and atrocities of the UP government,” he tweets. “They made 14 FIRs against you, sealed the office but since they couldn’t dare to arrest you, they attacked you instead today. This shows the defeat and disgrace of the people sitting in the UP government. It means you’re on the right track.”
4.23 pm: Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh has been attacked with ink at the woman’s village, The Indian Express reports.
4.16 pm: Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chowdhury claims Chief minister Adityanath has been inciting his party workers and says the “conspiracy of caste and communal violence” should be thwarted, PTI reports.
4.08 pm: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi claims that the BJP is campaigning against the deceased woman. “Yesterday, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh spoke about solving problems through dialogue,” she tweeted. “So will they listen to the victim’s family? When to act on Hathras DM? When to order a judicial inquiry?”
3.59 pm: A delegation of Aam Aadmi Party leaders led by Sanjay Singh meet the family of the deceased woman in Hathras, ANI reports.
3.57 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath accuses the Opposition of conspiring against his government to “lay a foundation for caste and communal riots” through international funding, ANI reports.
Also read: Hathras gangrape: Opponents plotting against us through international funding, alleges Adityanath
3.55 pm: The Uttar Pradesh Police claim they have uncovered an “international plot” to instigate riots along caste lines and defame the Adityanath government over the Hathras rape case, The Indian Express reports. On Sunday, an FIR was registered against unidentified persons at the Chandpa Police Station in Hathras under several stringent sections of the Indian Penal Code, including sedition.
A website, justiceforhathrasvictim.carrd.co, which allegedly had information on how to protest safely and avoid the police, has been linked to the conspiracy, unidentified officials told the newspaper.
3.53 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati condemns the use of police force against politicians who tried visiting the woman’s family in Hathras and says the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh should change its “arrogant and dictatorial” attitude.
2.04 pm: The Gujarat Police detain Congress workers in Ahmedabad who were protesting against the Hathras rape case, ANI reports.
1.59 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Uttar Pradesh Surendra Singh hits back at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, alleging that he is a man of “dual character” and “foreign mentality” and he should learn nationalism and the country’s culture from “nationalists”, PTI reports.
“He is totally ignorant about Indian culture,” Singh told reporters at his residence. “He will understand the definition of nationalism if he takes tuition from nationalists. He could not understand the crux of the country’s culture.”
Gandhi had deplored Singh’s remarks, who suggested that rape can be averted if women are raised with “sanskar”, or good values, and not with good governance. Gandhi blamed the “filthy” male chauvinist mentality of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, for such distasteful comments.
1.56 pm: The Gautam Buddh Nagar Police registers an FIR against 500 Congress workers, charging them with unlawful assembly on Saturday at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Noida amid the pandemic, PTI reports. The FIR was registered against Congress’ Gautam Buddh Nagar unit president Manoj Chaudhary, Noida unit chief Shahabuddin and 500 unnamed party workers.
1.55 pm: Mahila Congress workers in Maharashtra protest against the Hathras rape case.
12.34 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in Punjab will visit Hathras to meet the family of the woman, The Indian Express reports. Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, along with MLAs Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Baldev Singh Jaito, Manjit Singh Bilaspur and Kulwant Singh Pandori, are expected to meet the the family in the afternoon.
12.30 pm: Gujarat Congress workers stage a protest in Ahmedabad to demand justice for the Dalit woman who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in Hathras, ANI reports.
12.19 pm: There are three short videos circulating the internet in which the 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, who was gangraped by four upper-caste men from the Thakur community, on September 14, speaks about her order, The Wire reports.
Although two of the three videos have been posted on Twitter by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who suggest the woman was not raped and show her saying the attackers strangled her because she resisted their efforts to force themselves on her, an analysis of the audio and transcript of her statements done by The Wire confirm the nature of the crime she describes.
“Phir andar Bakhere ke ped ke peeche...Udhar le gaya mujhe…aur gala daba diya...zabardasti karne ki koshish kar raha tha…Main mana karii…To usne gala daba diya….Bas. [Then inside – four or five indistinct words, possibly referring to the location, and then clearly – He took me there…And strangled me – two indistinct words, and then, clearly – He tried to force himself on me…I refused…And so he strangled me. That’s it],” the woman can be heard saying in one of the videos.
In the third video, which was shot in a hospital, she confirms at least twice that she was raped by the four men.
11.06 am: Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh is on his way to Hathras from Lucknow, News18 reports. Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and other senior party leaders are accompanying Singh to meet the family of the Dalit woman.
10.57 am: A first information report was registered against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and about 400 to 500 unnamed people who visited Hathras on Sunday, for violating Section 144 of the Criminal Code Procedure, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people, ANI reports.
10.46 am: The protestors demand the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government immediately implement the following resolutions:
1. Remove the barricades around the home of the victim’s family and restore their freedom
2. Take strict actions against all the errant police officers
3. Investigate and punish the top brass in the administration trying to protect the accused
4. Provide protection to Dalits by applying the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
5. Provide special fast track courts to hear and rule on Dalit atrocity cases for timely justice
6. Ensure that the accused are tried without any special interests and influence, and that the maximum punishment is meted out to them upon being proven guilty
7. Provide monetary compensation to the victim’s family for their child’s grievous murder and for the terror unleashed on them following her death.
10.46 am: Indians in the United States on Sunday held protests against the gangrape and torture of the Dalit woman, in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The protests were organised under the banner of Ambedkar International Mission.
9.33 am: A forensic report of the Dalit woman says there were “no signs suggestive of intercourse”, according to NDTV. The Uttar Pradesh Police has repeatedly denied she was raped based on the forensic science laboratory report, which took swab samples from the woman eight days after the crime.
9.30 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticises the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for a hurried cremation of the woman.
9.06 am: The police of Gautam Buddh Nagar on Sunday apologised to Priyanka Gandhi, who was mishandled by police personnel while she was on her way to Hathras, and ordered an inquiry into a policeman holding the Congress leader by her kurta, PTI reports.
“Noida Police profoundly regrets the incident with Priyanka Gandhi while handling an unruly crowd at the DND,” the district police said in a statement. “We also apologise to Priyanka Gandhi.”
8.36 am: The BJP hit a new low when on Friday when the head of its powerful IT cell, Amit Malviya, published a video that disclosed the identity of the victim. The graphic video tweeted by Malviya is not only insensitive and factually incorrect in the manner in which he framed the text – it violates Indian law.
In the video, the victim can be seen in a state of shock stating that she was strangled since she resisted efforts at “zabaradasti” (literally force) against her. In Hindi, the word “zabaradasti” is often used as an euphemism for sexual assault. She consistently repeated this allegation in another video too.
However, Malviya misrepresented the contents of the video, claiming she only says there was an attempt to strangle her. He did not mention her allegations of sexual assault.
Read more: Hathras gangrape: By disclosing identity of dead victim, BJP sinks to new low – and violates the law
8.25 am: Adityanath criticises the Opposition for their protests against the gangrape and the subsequent forceful cremation of the Hathras complainant. He calls the outrage over the incident part of “conspiracies” to bring instability in the state.
Read more: Hathras gangrape: CM Adityanath criticises Opposition for protests, calls it ‘conspiracies’
8.21 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hits out at a BJP lawmaker who said that rapes can be prevented if Indian parents taught their daughters good values. “This is the filthy RSS male chauvinist mentality at work,” Gandhi tweets. “Men do the raping but women need to be taught good values.”
8.15 am: The chief medical officer at Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College tells The Indian Express that the report negating any rape of the Hathras victim “holds no value”. The gangrape complainant was first admitted to Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has repeatedly denied she was raped based on the forensic science laboratory report, which took swab samples from the woman eight days after the crime. Dr Azeem Malik, Aligarh CMO, tells Express that the report cannot confirm rape. “The samples were collected 11 days after the woman was allegedly raped, while government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident,” he says.
Dr Hamza Malik, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, also says the report is “unreliable”. “How will the FSL team find evidence of rape 11 days later?” Malik asks. “Sperm doesn’t survive after 2-3 days. They took samples from hair, clothes, nail bed and vaginal-anal orifice; the samples may not show presence of semen because of urination, defecation and menstruation.”
Here are the top updates on the case from Sunday:
- A former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rajveer Pahalwan on Sunday called a meeting of upper caste members at his home in Hathras district to support the accused, claiming they were not guilty. Pahalwan added that the Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry will “reveal the truth about the incident”. The members of the upper caste community also raised concern about the woman’s family refusing to take narco-analysis, also known as lie-detector tests.
- The medico-legal report of the Hathras gangrape complainant, prepared by the hospital in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, where she was first admitted, has shown that doctors had recorded “complete penetration of the vagina” and the use of force in their preliminary exam. The report from Aligarh’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital contradicts the Uttar Pradesh police’s claim that the woman was not raped, which was based on swab samples taken several days after the crime occurred.
- National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma said it was “illegal and unfortunate” for Bharatiya Janata Party IT Cell head Amit Malviya to have shared a video on Twitter of the woman, in which she is heard saying that she had been strangled as she resisted her perpetrators. Sharma added that she will personally speak to Malviya and the state police. “If it turns out that she was a rape victim, then the NCW will take the issue forward to its logical end,” she said.
- The Congress will hold “satyagrah” in state and district headquarters across the country on Monday to demand justice for the family of the Dalit woman.
- Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati called for action against Hathras District Magistrate Praveen Laxkar. The demand came in view of a video of Laxkar where he can be heard issuing a veiled threat to the woman’s father, asking him to soften his stance about the case.
- Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhiaccused the Uttar Pradesh government of trying to hide the rape incident. The DMK will take out a candle light march towards the Raj Bhavan on Monday to demand justice for the woman. Meanwhile, the Left parties will protest in West Bengal on Tuesday.