New Delhi: Taking a dig at the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath for mismanaging the case of a young woman “gang-raped and murdered” by four upper-caste Hindu men (Thakurs) in UP’s Hathras district, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that UP Chief Minister and state’s police is silent because the victim belonged to lower caste family.
“The shameful truth is many Indians don’t consider Dalits, Muslims and Tribals to be human. The CM & his police say no one was raped because for them, and many other Indians, she was NO ONE (sic),” the ex-Congress chief wrote in a tweet this morning, along with a news report that said the police had been denying the rape charges.
The shameful truth is many Indians don’t consider Dalits, Muslims and Tribals to be human.
The CM & his police say no one was raped because for them, and many other Indians, she was NO ONE.https://t.co/mrDkodbwNC
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 11, 2020
The UP government has been under much criticism after a late-night cremation of the victim was held where her family was allegedly not allowed and for overall handling of the case.
The police, meanwhile, have filed 19 FIRs (First Information Reports) – not against the accused – but against “unidentified people” for a conspiracy to defame the state government.
Gandhi had visited the victim’s family, two days after he was stopped by the UP Police while marching to Hathras. He was seen in a tussle with UP cops, where he was pushed and he fell to the ground.
On Saturday, the government of India reminded state and UT governments of the country about existing laws for “mandatory action by police in cases of crimes against women”.
On September 14, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was abducted by a gang of four upper-caste Hindu men from the village’s Thakur community from the nearby agricultural field where she had gone for grass cutting.
Her mother says that she did not “notice the scuffle”, as she is hard of hearing, according to a report by The Wire.
However, barely a few minutes had passed and she saw her daughter in a pool of blood a few feet away from her.
According to her mother, the young woman was badly assaulted – her tongue wounded, her spinal cord and neck severally bruised, which reportedly left her paralysed and she was not able to stand up.
Later, when the woman was driven to the hospital, her post-mortem report revealed that she was strangulated and had suffered severe injuries in her spine.
The marks on the neck of the victim are consistent with attempted strangulation reports claim.
“Alleged history of strangulation by some unknown persons from behind with dupatta while she was doing some work in the field on 14, 09, 2020 at around 4:10 pm, where on examination she was conscious and oriented to time, place and person, ligature mark was present over the front of her neck.” the report mentions.
Initially, there was no rape case lodged but only a case of attempt to murder and one under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Later, on regaining conscious, when the woman gave a statement to police, a rape case was subsequently registered.
She was admitted first to a hospital in Hathras and later moved to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh for advanced treatment.
More than a week later on September 27, Police arrested four persons including Sandeep (20), his uncle Ravi (35) and their friends Luv Kush (23) and Ramu (26). All four of them were named by the victim and remain under judicial custody.
Next day, as the woman’s condition deteriorated, she was rushed to the Safdurjung Hospital in Delhi; however, she could survive only a few hours in the hospital and succumbed to her injuries.
Fearing demonstrations, police later refused to hand over her body to the family. By then, several activists from various groups had reached the hospital and begun a dharna demanding justice for her.
A spokesperson of the hospital later confirmed that the woman’s legs had been completely paralysed and arms partially paralysed.
The woman’s brother in a reportby NDTV says that his family members had gone to the field to get some grass. While his elder brother went home earlier, his mother and sister continued to cut the grass and were quite far from each other. Four-five men come from behind and dragged his sister by her dupatta inside the bajra field.
On realising her daughter was missing, the mother goes looking for her and later finds her unconscious. In this regard, the victim’s have accused the Uttar Pradesh police of not helping them initially but took action only after four-five days.
However, the state police denied the allegations put on them by the family.
The deceased came from Valmiki samaaj, a large cluster of caste, recognised as scheduled castes or Dalits by the 2011 census of UP.
In the victim’s district, Valmiki families number just about 15. Out of the 600-odd families, nearly half are Thakur (upper-caste Rajputs), and Brahmins another 100-odd.
Pertinently, a report released in January this year by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Uttar Pradesh is ranked as the worst for women’s security, followed by Madhya Pradesh as the state where rape is most rampant.
The total number of cases of crime against women in 2018 stood at 378,277, of which Uttar Pradesh alone had 59,445 cases of crimes against women. Madhya Pradesh registered the maximum number of rapes at 5,450, nearly 15 a day.
The overall number of crimes against women has risen steadily from 322,929 in 2016, to 345,989 in 2017, and 378,277 in 2018.