The family members of a 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died after allegedly being gangraped by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, will appear before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Monday to narrate their version of the events that led to the late-night cremation by police.
“The district judge, who has been appointed the nodal officer for the appearance of the Hathras victim’s family members before the high court, is in touch with it as to when the case is listed. The family will move accordingly. The family is in Hathras as of now,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal told news agency PTI.
On October 1, the court had taken suo motu cognizance of the fatal assault, especially her hurried cremation, and directed the kin of the deceased to appear before it to hear their version of the incident that took place in the middle of the night.
The court had also ordered senior officials of the state government and police, including of the district, to be present for the next hearing and to arrange for the travel of the family in this regard.
The Bench of Justices Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh, that quoted extensively from a report by The Indian Express that appeared on Thursday, said that while four accused had been arrested and an SIT set up to probe the matter, “the incidents which took place after the death of the victim on 29.09.2020 leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience, therefore, we are taking suo moto cognizance of the same.”
The court said the matter is of “immense public importance and public interest” as there are allegations of “high-handedness by the state authorities resulting in violation of the basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also of her family members”.
As many as 60 security personnel have been deployed and eight close circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at the house of the victim to ensure ensure the safety of her family members, police said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Shalabh Mathur, who was sent to Hathras from Lucknow as a nodal officer, had earlier spoken of setting up a control room if required.
The Hathras SP said a register of visitors is being maintained by policemen deployed at the entrance of the house.
Earlier in the day, the CBI, who took over the investigation into the case, registered an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to gangrape and murder.
The case was earlier registered at Chandpa Police Station, in Hathras district, based on a complaint by the victim’s brother.
“The complainant had alleged that on 14.09.2020, the accused tried to strangulate his sister in the millet field. The case has been registered by CBI on the request of Uttar Pradesh Government and further Notification from Government of India,” CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur was quoted as saying by PTI.
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