Hathras Gang rape has now become synonymous to Hathras District in Uttar Pradesh. By now everyone knows about this small district.
A 19 year old Dalit girl was gang raped by four upper caste men in Hathras District in Uttar Pradesh. She died in a Delhi Hospital after fighting for her life for two whole weeks.
The case and its subsequent handling has received widespread media attention and condemnation from across the country, and was the subject of protests against the Yogi Adityanath government by activists and opposition.
The incident took place on 14 September 2020, when the victim, a 19-year-old Dalit woman went to a farm to collect cattle fodder. Four men — Sandip, Ramu, Lav kush and Ravi — allegedly dragged her away by dupatta around her neck injuring her in the process. The four upper caste men accused of rape allegedly belong to the Thakur caste. The violence left her paralyzed with a severe spinal cord injury.
The four men allegedly cut her tongue.The perpetrators had tried to strangulate the girl as she resisted their rape attempt. Her cries were heard by her mother who came to the spot to find her lying down in the farm.
She was at first taken to the Chand Pa police station, where the police rejected her claims and, according to the family, humiliated them. The police registered a complaint only on 20 September. Police were able to record the victim’s statement on 22 September.
The victim was initially admitted to Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College 15 days before her death with her spinal cord severely damaged. She was later shifted to a hospital in Delhi after her condition worsened. According to the police, the victim had been strangled with her dupatta. She died on 29 September 2020
The Subsequent Investigation
When the news broke out initially through social media, Agra Police, Hathras District Magistrate, and UP’s Information & Public Relations called it “fake news”.
Later, a senior UP Police officer claimed that no sperm was found in samples as per forensic report and that some people had “twisted” the incident to stir “caste-based tension.
The family alleged that they were faced pressure from the administration. A video emerged in which the Hathras District Magistrate is seen pressuring the family into changing their statement.
On 3 October, the state government suspended five police officers including the Superintendent of Police.
The Wire and others reported that the Uttar Pradesh government employed Concept PR, a Mumbai public relations firm. The PR firm allegedly sent out press releases (on behalf of the government) stating that the Hathras teenager was not raped.
The press releases also alluded to a conspiracy to push the state of Uttar Pradesh into a caste turmoil.
On 4 October, Yogi Adityanath recommended CBI probe.
However, The victim’s family is not in favour of the CBI investigation and wants a judicial probe to be conducted in the case.
Uttar Pradesh government claimed “deep rooted conspiracy” and an “international plot” to incite caste based riots in Hathras and defame the Yogi government.
19 FIRs have been filed by the Uttar Pradesh police in the aftermath of the alleged gang rape. The charges listed by police on the main FIR include inciting caste based divides, religious discrimination, doctoring electronic evidence, a conspiracy against the state and defamation.
Yogi Adityanath had earlier asked his party workers to “expose those who want to incite caste and communal riots”.
Hathras Gang Rape has shocked the whole nation and we are yet to see how this unfolds.