Amid nationwide anguish and anger over the gang rape of 19-year old Hathras woman in Uttar Pradesh, now the state ADG (Law and Order) claimed that she was not raped. While justifying it, the senior IPS officer and the ADG Prashant Kumar cited the forensic report of the victim and said that the Dalit woman, who had been assaulted by four upper-caste men in Hathras district on September 14, died due to an injury on the neck and trauma resulting due to it as per a post mortem report of Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
The ADG said that the report clearly revealed that the samples did not have sperm. It makes clear that there was not rape or gang rape, he insisted and said. “Even the woman in her statement to police did not mention about rape but talked about beating only.”
Taking a clear pro-police stand, the IPS officer said that some people “distorted facts” in the media and it was purely done to disturb social harmony and create caste violence. “For disturbing social harmony and create caste violence, some persons wrongly presented facts. Police took immediate action in the case and now we will identify those who tried to disturb social harmony and create caste violence,” the ADG said.
However, the he basic question is that even if we conceded the fact that the Dalit woman was not raped can anyone justifies the horrified incident? Moreover, why her body was forcibly cremated by the UP police in the middle of the night? Her family alleged that they were not allowed to take her body home and were pushed to cremate her immediately. One of her brothers even said that the police were aggressive when the family refused to cremate her immediately, though their father and brothers were not there. By saying that she was not raped, the UP police are also trying to suppress the entire episode.
With her tongue cut by the assaulters and her spinal cord and neck severely injured, leaving her paralysed in all four limbs, the 19-year-old passed away on Tuesday, triggering widespread national outrage and protests by the Opposition.
An initial medical report of the woman confirmed strangulation and assault. A medical report by doctors at Aligarh hospital had found evidence regarding rape “inconclusive”. On Wednesday, following a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath formed a three-member SIT to investigate the incident and asked it to submit a report within seven days. The state also said it would set up a fast track court to hear the case. Besides, it announced compensation of Rs 25-lakh for the victim’s family, a government job for a family member, and a house in Hathras city under the State Urban Development Agency.
Meanwhile, activists and politicians continued to raise questions over the UP Police’s claims that the dalit woman of Hathras was not raped, with some pointing out that the victim said in her dying declaration that she was sexually assaulted by four men while others pointed out that the victim’s body had “conveniently” cremated. The UP police must answer all these questions.
– M Charulata