‘Govt pressure against speaking up’, says family of woman gang-raped, tortured, murdered by ‘upper caste’ Hindu men in Hathras

Uttar Pradesh: Two weeks after the murder of a young woman who was “gang-raped and tortured” in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh triggering widespread protests across India, the family of the victim has accused the administration of UP government mounting pressure against speaking up.

In a 22-second video clip, purportedly shot inside the victim’s house, Hathras DM Praveen Laxkar can be heard telling a family member, “Don’t ruin your credibility. These media people will leave, half have already left. We are with you. It’s up to you, if you want to keep changing your statement.” The video, which trails off at a point where the DM says, “ Abhi hum bhi badal jayein (Now if we change…),” went viral within minutes of being posted.

“I had gone to meet the victim’s family after getting to know they were not satisfied,” Laxkar said, adding that he had not threatened the family.

The girl’s sister-in-law said there has been pressure from the administration: “They are asking, ‘Would you get compensation had the girl died of corona?’ … They claim they could dispose of the case on the basis of my mother-in-law’s first statement (in which she had not referred to rape), when she was not even in a condition to say anything, a report by Times of India said.

They will not let us live here.” In another video that went viral on Thursday, the victim’s father can be heard saying, “The administration pressured us into signing a paper that we were satisfied after an assurance by CM Yogi Adityanath over a call at the police station.”

The CM had spoken to him on a video call on Wednesday, promising the family Rs 25 lakh in aid, a job, a house and fast-track trial for the case. “We are being held prisoners in our own house,” he is heard saying in the video.

On September, the 19-year-old woman was attacked while she was out cutting grass in Hathras. The attackers ‘pulled her into a field with her shawl, sexually assaulted her and tried to strangle her’.

Later, the woman was found by her family naked, bleeding and paralysed, her tongue cut and her spine broken.

She was taken to hospital in the city of Aligarh and this week she was transferred to a facility in Delhi, where she died from her injuries on Tuesday morning.


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