The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday registered a first information report against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and 400 others for violating Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code that prevents large gatherings, India Today reported.

The case was lodged after Azad led a rally to Hathras district on Sunday to meet the family of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was assaulted and gangraped on September 14. She died at a Delhi hospital on September 29.

Azad was at first not permitted to enter the district but allowed later. He 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 at her village, the Bhim Army chief called for 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 [Central Bureau of Investigation] follows the government’s orders.”

He further demanded a judicial inquiry into the rape case, saying that the Central Bureau of Investigation was being used only to scare people under the current political dispensation at the Centre. On Sunday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too had asked why the government was talking about a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry but continuing with the probe by special investigation team, even though the family has asked for a judicial investigation monitored by a Supreme Court judge.

Azad’s visit to Hathras came a day after Vadra and her brother, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met the woman’s family. On Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had filed a case the Congress leaders after detaining them on their way to Hathras and escorting them back to Delhi. They could not meet the family on Thursday.

The case

On September 14, four upper-caste Thakur men had tortured and raped the Dalit woman. She died on September 29, a day after being moved to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. She had suffered multiple fractures and other serious injuries, and was left paralysed. The four men have been arrested. However, the woman was hastily cremated by police against her family’s will, while they had been locked indoors. This has led to outrage and protests across the country.

The Uttar Pradesh administration has consistently denied that the woman was raped, based on a report from the forensic lab that had said there were no traces of sperm in samples taken from her. However, the chief medical officer at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College – where the woman was admitted – said the forensic lab’s report “holds no value” as it relied on samples taken 11 days after the crime was committed. Experts have also pointed out that since the samples for the test were collected many days after the crime was committed, sperm would not be present. The autopsy report of the woman had showed that she was strangled and suffered a cervical spine injury. The final diagnosis did not mention rape but had pointed out that there were tears in her genitalia and there had been “use of force”.

On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court had taken 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.

Also read: Hathras gangrape: Report ruling out rape has no value, used 11-day-old sample, says Aligarh CMO

Hathras gangrape: By disclosing identity of dead victim, BJP sinks to new low – and violates the law