TW: Rape, sexual assault, and brutality
It's been almost 8 years since the Nirbhaya rape case and it seems like we haven’t moved even in inch from where we were back in 2012 in terms of women's safety. We might have carried out protests and candle marches, and yet year after year we have seen our women, girls, and even infants falling prey to this unfathomable brutality. The Unnao rape case of 2017 is proof. The Kathua rape case of 2018 is proof. A plethora of less talked about but equally horrifying incidents are proof. The latest Hatras rape case is no different.
Here’s everything that you know about the case:
On September 14th, a Dalit woman was brutally gang-raped by four upper caste men in the Hathras district of UP. As per the media reports, the girl’s tongue was cut off. The girl was later found all battered and bleeding by her mother in a field with blood oozing out of her mouth. She was then taken to a hospital where she was being treated in the ICU. The doctors had also confirmed that the girl was strangled and brutally assaulted after observing several injuries on both her spinal cord and neck. As per the reports, the girl was strangled by her own dupatta and was left in the field with that wrapped tightly around her neck.
Last week on September 26, the girl gained consciousness and also gave a statement against four men behind the heinous act. It was only after her statement, that rape charges were added to the case which was earlier being investigated as an attempt to murder case. Following this, a complaint was filed against her upper-caste neighbour Sandeep, his uncle Ravi, his friend Luv Kush, and a fourth accused, Ramu. All four accused have now been arrested by the police.
Speaking about the incident, the victim’s brother had shared that in an interview with The Indian Express “They are upper castes and have always called us names. We ignore them. Sandeep is an alcoholic who harasses women, but nobody ever files a complaint.”
On September 29, the 19-year-old succumbed to her injuries and died in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital.
Here's how netizens are reacting to the case:
The Hathras rape victim's family is now claiming that the women's body was forcibly cremated by the UP police at 3 am last night. The victim's family and villagers are saying that while they wanted to take her body to the house for all the last rites, the administration and police were pressing to go ahead with the cremation at the earliest.
“The police have forcibly taken the dead body and my father along with them for cremation. When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken (to the crematorium) by the police,” the woman’s brother shared in an interaction with PTI.
And while the police have denied any such "urgency" claims, pictures from the incident where the victim's family members can be seen protesting are going viral on social media. If true, this is definitely enraging news and raises suspicion of foul play and systematic sabotage by the administration. Here's how the Twitterverse is reacting to the concerning news:
Members from the victim's family and community have now taken to the streets to protest against the police and administration. They have been demanding justice and asking for all the culprits to be hanged immediately. Here are pictures from the protest:
Meanwhile, Bollywood celebs have also been condemning the incidence. Here's what they have to say:
As per latest updates, UP CM Yogi Adityanath has now constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the crime. The team has been asked to submit their findings within a week and the case would then be handled by a fast track court.
“The culprits of Hathras incident against the girl will not be let go. An SIT has been formed to investigate the matter and it will submit a report within seven days. To ensure early justice, the case will be run in a fast track court,” the CM has tweeted.
That said, we can no longer overlook the fact that the country and the administration have failed its women. In fact, as per the NCRB’s Crime In India 2019 report, an average of 87 rape cases every day were recorded in India in 2019. Additionally, a total of 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women were registered in 2019, this is a rise of over seven percent from 2018. Yes, an entire decade of the fight against women’s safety and brutality against them and this is where we stand today! This recent Hathras case is just another example of how the country has absolutely failed its women.
Featured Image: Twitter