Another nightmare unfolded in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras area last night. A grieving Dalit man, and his family who just wanted to take the body of their 19-year-old daughter home for one last time, were psycologicaly blackmailed by senior UP Police officials to cremate her quickly instead. The teeager who was raped, tortured and murdered by ‘upper caste’ men who preyed on her because she was Dalit, had died of her injuries in a Delhi hospital earlier on Tuesday. The teenager was cremated around 3 AM on September 30, by her family as they were left with no option but to give in to pressure from the police which was wearing protective gear, standing like a government wall in front of the family that was emotionally vulnerable.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, has demanded that the CM must quit as there is only injustice in his rule.
“@myogiadityanath Resign There is no justice in your rule, only injustice.”
..अधिकार छीना और मृतका को सम्मान तक नहीं दिया।
घोर अमानवीयता। आपने अपराध रोका नहीं बल्कि अपराधियों की तरह व्यवहार किया।अत्याचार रोका नहीं, एक मासूम बच्ची और उसके परिवार पर दुगना अत्याचार किया।@myogiadityanath इस्तीफा दो। आपके शासन में न्याय नहीं, सिर्फ अन्याय का बोलबाला है।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) September 30, 2020
The Chief Minister of the state has been silent on the issue. However his police department has been at ‘work’ all night. Hinting at so-called ‘honour’ and citing ‘tradition’ and customs, the senior UP Police officials kept telling the grieving parents to not take their child’s body home for a while, and instead cremate it away, in the dead of the night. “I’m from Rajasthan & in our culture we don’t keep the body for long,” he said adding, that “it won’t be right/correct” for the family. The broken parents of the victim can be seen pleading with the policemen to allow them to “take the body home once, only once…”
This is the most inhuman way a grieving family of a raped and murdered child could be treated. Even the India Today reporter who was at the spot shared her shock, and videos of the horror as it unfolded “Can’t believe my ears. UP cop giving gyaan to inconsolable family” she posted, adding that the cop cited tradition and almost attempted to put the blame on the family itself as the family begged them to understand.
#HathrasCase UP Police officials forcing grieving parents to cremate the body overnight saying “I’m from Rajasthan & in our culture we don’t keep the body for long. Baaki sab aap dekh lijiye”
Mother is begging in front of the cops, please let me take the body home once, only once pic.twitter.com/aQjoTlvSvl
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) September 29, 2020
Earler on Tuesday, the day the Dalit girl succumbed to the rape and torture injuries influcted on her by the ‘upper caste’ men, the police had taken the father and brother of the 19-year-old Hathras victim away from Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. The two heartbroken men were on a peaceful protest seeking justice for the victim, however the police “persuaded” them to end their dharna quickly and leave for Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, where according to her family she was cremated a little after 3 A.M on Wednesday. Multiple news reports state that the victim’s family has said that the “police had forcibly performed the last rites late at night even though they wanted to bring her body home one last time.
“It appears that my sister has been cremated; the police are not telling us anything. We begged them to let us bring her body inside the house one last time, but they didn’t listen to us,” the woman’s brother told The Indian Express at 3.30 A.M on Wednesday.
The teenager had died at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday, two weeks after she was raped, on September 14, and tortured in the fields, where she had gone to help her mother with work. By midnight, her body was brought back to her village in Hathras in an ambulance. At 1 A.M, one of the victim’s brothers, who was in the village, told The Indian Express, “The ambulance is on the main road; police are not letting us take the body inside the house. They have switched on the lights of the cremation ground and are forcing us to perform her last rites right now. We don’t want to cremate her in the middle of the night; we want to take her home.” Her father and brother were yet to reach home from the Delhi hospital at that time.
Soon enough the police made sure the pyre was lit, and the girl cremated without even her family members near it to say a final farewell.
The body of Hathras gangrape survivor put to flames in absence of family members. This was allegedly done against the wishes of the family. One simple question: What right does police have to dictate terms of cremation? pic.twitter.com/oSsmiEXrp8
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) September 30, 2020
रात को 2.30 बजे परिजन गिड़गिड़ाते रहे लेकिन हाथरस की पीड़िता के शरीर को उप्र प्रशासन ने जबरन जला दिया।
जब वह जीवित थी तब सरकार ने उसे सुरक्षा नहीं दी। जब उस पर हमला हुआ सरकार ने समय पर इलाज नहीं दिया।
पीड़िता की मृत्यु के बाद सरकार ने परिजनों से बेटी के अंतिम संस्कार का..1/2
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) September 30, 2020
हाथरस की बेटी बलात्कार-हत्याकांड’ में शासन के दबाव में, परिवार की अनुमति बिना, रात्रि में पुलिस द्वारा अंतिम संस्कार करवाना, संस्कारों के विरुद्ध है. ये सबूतों को मिटाने का घोर निंदनीय कृत्य है.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) September 30, 2020
The IE reported that her brother alleged, “Police started being aggressive when we refused to cremate her. When my relatives tried to see what the police were doing, they kicked us, broke one of our relative’s bangles. Out of fear, we have locked ourselves in. Why are they doing this?”
However, Prem Prakash Meena, the Joint Magistrate of Hathras, meanwhile told news agency ANI, “The last rites of the victim have been performed. Police and administration will ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice.” Earlier the police had stated that the cremation will be done “as per the wishes of the family”. They then continued to deny all allegations, even as the videos and photos of the family being pressurised, and the lone pyre burning, continue to go viral on social media.
▶️कतिपय सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से यह असत्य खबर फैलायी जा रही है कि “थाना चन्दपा क्षेत्रान्तर्गत दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटित घटना में मृतिका के शव का अन्तिम संस्कार बिना परिजनों की अनुमति के पुलिस ने जबरन रात में करा दिया हैं “।
⏹️ हाथरस पुलिस इस असत्य एवं भ्रामक खबर का खंडन करती है। pic.twitter.com/EMHLRQzR2o
— HATHRAS POLICE (@hathraspolice) September 30, 2020
In Delhi, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad led a protest outside Safdarjung Hospital, where the teenager had died. Later in the day, more protests broke out demanding justice for the victim in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In Lucknow, members of the Samajwadi Party womens’ wing clashed with police personnel during their protest over the incident. The UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu led a candlelight protest against the Uttar Pradesh government. However all the victim’s father could tell the IE reporter was his only prayer, “we just want justice, that is all.”
Protesters demanded that the family get official assurance from the UP government that justice will be done. After the Dalit girl died and the posmortem was over the family said, “No representative of the central or state government has met us. We will not leave till one of them meets us and promises us justice. We want justice, we want death penalty for the culprits,” said a relative quoted by IE. They protested and waited for hours in the heat, and left for Hathras only in the evening, reportedly forced to do so by the police.
जब तक चन्द्रशेखर आज़ाद वहां थे तब तक उनके परिवार को पुलिस नही उठा पाई। उनको गिरफ्तार करने के बाद पीड़ित बहन के मृत शरीर,उनके भाई और पिता जी को पुलिस जबरदस्ती हाथरस ले गई है। #StandWithAazad#JusticeForManisha
— कुश अम्बेडकरवादी (کش) (@Kush_voice) September 29, 2020
The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has condemned the brutal gang rape of the 19 year old Dalit girl, and recalled that “she was shifted from Aligarh to Delhi only after her father’s request.” The AIDWA stated that “ Uttar Pradesh has become a hotbed of crimes against women with daily incidents of kidnapping, rape and murder. The political patronage given to criminals in UP has led to a jungle raj with goons moving around with impunity.” They added that even in the Unnao case, “the CBI had explicitly stated that two IPS and one IAS officers were found guilty of dereliction of duty and action should be taken against them. But the UP state government has not taken any action against the erring officers so far sending a message that crimes against women need not be taken seriously.”
The AIDWA has demanded that “immediate protection be given to the family of the victim” and with various women’s organisations have jointly called for protests to be held all over the country on Wednesday.
Dalit leaders joined the protest in solidarity on Tuesday, and are expected to continue demanding justice. The IE quoted Azad, “We demand death penalty for the culprits. The girl should have been taken to AIIMS, like we had demanded earlier. This government does not want the Dalit community to rise.” Raj Kumar Diwan from the Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Sabha said, “We will not back down till our Dalit daughter gets justice and the culprits are hanged.” They were joined by Congress and AAP leaders who also protested at the hospital. “The family should be given Rs 50 lakh compensation and a government job,” demanded Congress leader P L Punia.At a press conference in Lucknow, AAP leader in charge of Uttar Pradesh and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh alleged that the “BJP government is standing with the accused instead of the girls of the state”.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said, the “tenure of the BJP is difficult for the daughters and sisters of the state.”
“The news of the Dalit victim’s death after gangrape is very tragic. The government should ensure all help to the family, and should also ensure that the case is heard in a fast-track court,” tweeted BSP chief Mayawati.
2. अगर माननीय सुप्रीम कोर्ट इस संगीन प्रकरण का स्वयं ही संज्ञान लेकर उचित कार्रवाई करे तो यह बेहतर होगा, वरना इस जघन्य मामले में यूपी सरकार व पुलिस के रवैये से ऐसा कतई नहीं लगता है कि गैंगरेप पीड़िता की मौत के बाद भी उसके परिवार को न्याय व दोषियों को कड़ी सजा मिल पाएगी। 2/2
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) September 30, 2020
While the people take to the streets the leadership is absent, and shockingly quiet. No words of condolence have come from Smriti Z Irani who is the Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, and who was elected from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi Lok Sabha Constituency. She had once taken to the streets in protest of rapes during the UPA regime. Today she meere retweeted official statements of “fast track” investigations etc, issued by the UP government.
मुख्यमंत्री श्री @myogiadityanath जी द्वारा हाथरस की घटना पर जांच हेतु तीन सदस्यीय SIT गठित की गई है जिसमें अध्यक्ष सचिव गृह श्री भगवान स्वरूप एवं श्री चंद्रप्रकाश, पुलिस उपमहानिरीक्षक व श्रीमती पूनम, सेनानायक पीएसी आगरा सदस्य होंगे।
SIT अपनी रिपोर्ट 7 दिन में प्रस्तुत करेगी।
— CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister shared his “heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. In this moment of grief our thoughts are with the Al-Sabah family and the people of the State of Kuwait.”
My heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. In this moment of grief our thoughts are with the Al-Sabah family and the people of the State of Kuwait.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 29, 2020