LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: After the horrific brutality that the gang-rape victim from Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh suffered when alive, the 19-year-old was denied dignity even in death by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
The Dalit girl, who died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday, was forcibly cremated early Wednesday by Hathras police amid their claims to the contrary. As the police action sparked a massive public outrage, the Yogi Adityanath government ordered an SIT probe and vowed that no culprit would be spared.
Following the girl’s death, her younger brother and father were made to wait for hours before they could head back to their village Boolgarhi in Hathras. It was around 1 am when the police, along with the body and the family, reached the village.
However, the police didn’t take the body to the house, her family and villagers said. The family, including the mother, elder brother and father, said they pleaded with the cops to allow them to take their daughter home before cremating her. But the police “forced” them to complete the last rites immediately.
“When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken to the cremation ground by the police,” the victim’s brother said.
The body was cremated around 3 am by the police despite the fact that cremations usually don’t take place at night.
The district police and administration refuted the allegations. Hathras SP Vikrant Veer denied any “urgency” by the police.
Magistrate Praveen Kumar Lakshakar said the family’s claims were false while joint magistrate Prem Prakash Meena claimed last rites were performed with the family’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to CM Yogi Adityanath and called for strictest action against the culprits.
The state government set up a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the incident and submit its report within a week.
“We will take the case to a fast-track court and ensure strictest punishment for the perpetrators. The state government stands by the bereaved family,” CM Yogi said. He spoke to the family via video-link and promised all help.
The CM announced a financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh for the family. He also promised a government job to one of her family members and a house in Hathras city.
However, the Opposition parties went all guns blazing at the Yogi government while protests erupted across UP and in Delhi.
A plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe and transfer of the case to Delhi.
The NHRC issued notices to the UP government and police chief. National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma sought an explanation from the DGP for cremation of the body without the family’s involvement.
Why did the police not hand over the body to the girl’s family in Delhi immediately after the autopsy?
Why did they force the parents to do the last rites in the wee hours after reaching their village in UP?
Is it normal to cremate anybody after sunset among Hindus? Why was an exception made in the girl’s case?
Congress, Left stage protests
Congress, Left and Bhim Army activists staged protests near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and India Gate in the national capital on Wednesday, demanding justice for the victim