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Hathras gang rape: UP CM forms SIT, Modi calls for strictest action against culprits

Eastern Times,New Delhi: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) Wednesday to investigate the case of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who was raped and murdered allegedly by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.

Adityanath has asked the team to submit a report within seven days and said a fast-track court will begin hearing the case.

“The culprits of Hathras incident against the girl will not be let go,” tweeted Adityanath.

This decision was taken after holding discussions with Narendra Modi who ensured strictest action to be held against those responsible for the crime.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to me over Hathras incident, he said that strictest of action be taken against the culprits,” added Adityanath.

Earlier, the body of the woman was cremated by the policemen a little after 3 am Wednesday keeping her family members away from performing final rites.

Shrouded by mystery, her family and relatives were locked at their home by the police who wanted to take the body inside and cremate the next morning. However, the cops had pressed for immediate cremation late last night.

Around midnight, her body was taken from Delhi to Hathras in an ambulance for cremation.

“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 did not listen to us,” said the victim’s brother.

The victim’s family members and villagers, who did not want to cremate her in the middle of the night, insisted that such an act was against their traditions.

“We wanted to perform the last rites as per Hindu traditions. The cremation was performed despite our protests”, the victim’s father said.

Photos and videos from the village showed a lone pyre with no family members nearby and the victim’s mother pleading with police officials to allow them to take the body inside.

Alleging the police, her brother said, “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”.

Amid intense fury, the Hathras Police had claimed that the cremation took place with the consent of the family and as per their wishes.

“Police and administration will ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice”, Joint Magistrate of Hathras, Prem Prakash Meena, was quoted as saying.

All four culprits have been sent to jail and will also be charged now with murder.

This horrific incident drew parallels to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case.

The woman had succumbed to multiple injuries and fractures at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday, two weeks after she was attacked while helping her mother in the fields.

Rape is a daily occurrence in India even today. According to the recent figures from the National Crime Records Bureau, an average of six rapes took place every day in India in 2019.

On the other hand, crime against children has risen by 4.5 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018. Records suggest 1,48,000 crime cases have been filed out of which 46.6 per cent are abduction cases and 35.3 per cent is related to sexual assault.

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