A man, out on bail since 2018 for molestation, allegedly shot dead the survivor’s father on March 1, 2021 at Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh, the same region where a young Dalit girl was sexually assaulted in 2020.
According to district police, an argument broke out between the families of the accused and the survivor on Monday at 4:30 PM outside a village temple, after which the accused shot the survivor’s father who died enroute to the hospital.
An NDTV report stated that the police released a video statement on Twitter wherein Chief Vineet Jaiswal talked about the accused who was released on bail after only a month of imprisonment. “The wife and aunt of the main accused had gone to a village temple to pray where both daughters of this man were present. The women had an argument. The accused and the woman’s father intervened and the argument between the men intensified,” he said.
Later, the girl told reporters that she and her father were working in a potato field, when the accused and his accomplices again attempted to misbehave with her. Her father made them leave. However, two hours later they returned in a car and shot the father.
As of Tuesday evening, one person involved in the incident has been arrested. Meanwhile, a local journalist posted videos shot wherein the survivor can be seen crying outside a police station and repeatedly demanding justice.
“Please give me justice. First, he molested me and now he shot my father. He came to our village. There were six-seven people. My father had no enmity against anyone,” she is seen saying in the video. The girl also told media persons that the accused often told her family to withdraw the case.
Regarding the accused, the police told the news channel the man runs his social media pages using the name ‘Gaurav Songra.’ His Facebook page shows multiple photos where the man calls himself a “Samajwadi Party [SP] leader.” Recently, on February 27, the accused called for people to attend a farmer’s meeting announced by SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav on March 3 in Aligarh district.
In response, SP spokesperson Juhie Singh wrote a tweet in Hindi stating that the accused is “not an office-bearer or a spokesperson… For us, he was just a criminal who molested a daughter and killed the father. In the present government, such culprits are increasing. Despite the daughter’s complaint, this raises questions on the commitment of the state to women’s safety.”
Last year in September, a girl from the Valmiki community was sexually assaulted by four upper-caste men in Hathras. The girl died in a Delhi hospital while the four accused were charged for gang-rape and murder after an investigation by the CBI. The CBI has also invoked charges against the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Nonetheless, such atrocities against women in Uttar Pradesh have continued since then. IN 2021 itself, at least three sexual assault cases have been reported in the state with two victims belonging to the marginalised section of society.