And now, Hathras-like horror in Delhi!

Rape, murder, hasty cremation of a 9-year-old Dalit girl, this time in a crematorium; where is the political, social outrage?

Rape of 9 yr Dalit girlImage

A heinous crime has been reported from New Delhi, the national capital, which is now under an enhanced security blanket as Independence Day draws near. Yet the lack of public and official uproar over the terrifying crime is deafening. On Sunday, August 1, a nine-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped, murdered and her body forcibly cremated by the alleged culprits, reportedly in a Delhi crematorium.

According to news reports, the Delhi Police have detained the crematorium priest in the case along with three others. A few Valmiki community members have bravely come out to protest the crime and demand justice for the victim and her family. According to a news report, the victim is from a poor family, and lived with her parents in Purana Nangal area near the Delhi Cantonment. She had reportedly gone to the crematorium on Sunday evening to get some drinking water for her family. According to reports the crematorium has a drinking water cooler from where she would collect water, however the little girl never returned home this time.

It has been reported that the “priest and his companions then told the girl’s mother not to inform the police”, when the family went looking for her and discovered the horror. However the distraught mother and father raised an alarm alerting the locals who then called the police. The South West district police told the media that they received a call about the case around 10.30 P.M. The news was reported in brief late night, and gained prominence after handles of social and community organisations raised the issue. 


Delhi Government’s Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam who is an MLA from Seemapuri visited the area and assured help. However he reiterated that Delhi Police was under the Lt Governor and not the state government. 

It is noteworthy that Delhi Police’s Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, has recently assumed office, and this could well be one of the biggest cases the force has to solve after he assumed office. 

According to media reports, the accused reportedly told the girl’s parents that the child “died of electrocution” and pressured them not to inform the police. Nangal village where the crime took place is in the Delhi Cantonment area. According to media reports based on police statements the victim left home “at around 5:30 P.M on to get cold water from the water cooler at the crematorium but never returned”. India today reported further details saying, “At 6 P.M, the priest of the crematorium, Radhey Shyam, and 2-3 other persons known to the mother of minor girl called her to the crematorium and showed the girl’s body, saying that she got electrocuted while drinking water from the water cooler, police said, adding that girl’s mother said that there were injury marks on the her wrist and elbow and that her lips were blue.”

The horror of the case intensifies as a woman identified as the mother of the victim told journalist Meena Kotwal that the crematorium priest purpotdly admitted to committing the rape. “Pandit said ‘I have raped, I have done galat kaam’,” she can be heard in the video clip the journalist shared on social media. The distraught mother added that they tried to dismiss the matter there and there, and said that they should not go to the police. “They asked him [my husband] to sign a paper, they also asked me to sign, i said i am not literate and did not sign,” she said, adding, “They said go home but don’t go crying and lamenting. It will result in Infamy”. The child was then cremated, allegedly forcefully, “They did not even ask for her Aadhaar number,” said the mother. A crucial point as city crematoriums usually ask relatives for the death certificate and the Aadhaar number of the deceased before they go ahead with the final rites.

That the case is yet to shake the core of the civil society, Delhi residents and the political silence around it is scary. It also brings alive the horrific memories of the Hathras gangrape case, reported in Sepetember 2020, where the victim, a Dalit girl, was also hastily cremated allegedly without the consent of the family. The allegations, counter allegations, and cases related to the Hathras ganrape, murder and cremation are ongoing. 


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Woman set ablaze by man who had raped her two years ago



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