The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died two weeks after being gang-raped by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, was allegedly forcibly cremated by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the early hours of September 30 in the village of Boolgarhi, against the wishes of her family.
She succumbed to her injuries at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital yesterday. The victim’s family said at 2:30 am while they were at their home, the police cremated the body without their permission.
When the victim’s body reached her village in Hathras in an ambulance, her family stated that the police had forcibly taken her body and performed the last rites. They said that they had requested police that they wanted the last rites to be performed according to the Hindu traditions but they didn’t listen to them. The police claimed the cremation was done in the presence of the victim’s family after the body reached the Boolgarhi village in Hathras district. Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Vir denied any urgency by police in cremation.
The victim was raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras village by four men on September 14 and died a fortnight later after battling serious injuries. The woman was first taken to Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh, but shifted to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi after her condition deteriorated.
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted that those responsible for the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman shall not be spared. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to him and asked him to ensure the accused got the strictest punishment.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted that the Dalit girl had been a victim of demoniac behaviour in Hathras. For two weeks, she kept struggling between life and death in hospitals, said Priyanka. She added that incidents of rape in Hathras, Shahjahanpur, and Gorakhpur districts had shaken the state.
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that the guilty should be hanged as soon as possible. He also added that the death of the Hathras victim is shameful for the society, the country as well as for all the governments. It is sad that so many daughters are being sexually assaulted and we have not been able to protect them, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.