Uttar Pradesh government on Friday suspended Hathras SP Vikrant Vir, Circle Officer Ram Shabd, Inspector Dinesh Meena, Sub Inspector Jagveer Singh and the head constable, who were probing the alleged gangrape and death of a 19-year-old girl in the village. Shamli Vineet Jaiswal will soon take over the charge of SP.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday joined the protest at Jantar Mantar where civil society activists, women, students and members of various political parties gathered to demand justice for the gangrape victim. He said strictest punishment should be given to the perpetrators.
The protest that was initially supposed to be held at the India Gate was later shifted to the Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in place in the Rajpath area. “What is happening in Uttar Pradesh is goondaraj. The police have surrounded the village, are not allowing opposition leaders and mediapersons to enter it. They have taken away the mobile phones of the family members of the victim,” PTI quoted activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan as saying.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said those who harm the honour of women will be given such punishment that will set an example for future. Taking to Twitter, Yogi said, “Destruction is certain of those who even think of harming the honour and self-respect of mothers and sisters in UP.” The UP government is committed towards the safety of women of the state, he added.
Hathras rape case LIVE Updates: Derek O'Brien, other TMC MPs stopped at Hathras border; Allahabad HC takes suo motu cognizance of fatal assault and alleged gangrape of the Dalit woman in Hathras. Following LIVE updates in HINDI/MALAYALAM
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut Friday condemned the way Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was treated by the UP Police when he was on his way to meet Hathras victim's family, and termed it as "gang-rape of democracy". Gandhi was a leader of a prominent political party, Gandhi said, adding that nobody would support the way he was "manhandled" by the police. "We may have differences with the Congress party. He (Rahul Gandhi) can be stopped from going to Hathras citing imposition of section 144, but the way police behaved with him holding his collar...the way he was pushed and then thrown on the ground was highly condemnable," he said.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Trinamool MPs, including Derek O' Brien, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Mamata Thakur, was stopped by the Uttar Pradesh Police from entering Hathras, where a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gangraped two weeks ago and later died in a Delhi hospital, triggering nationwide outrage. Derek O' Brien was also shoved by a Joint Magistrate when he got into an argument with the cops. The MPs had travelled about 200 kms from Delhi and were reportedly stopped around two km from the victim's house. This comes a day after Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were detained by the UP Police while they were on their way to Hathras.
On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the alleged gangrape and fatal assault and of the Dalit woman, in Hathras and her hurried cremation, while directing senior officials of state government and police, including district administration, to be present at the next hearing on October 12. The court has summoned UP Additional Chief Secretary, Police chief, Additional Director General of Police, Hathras District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police in the case.
In Maharashtra, meanwhile, Congress workers held a demonstration over the detention of the Gandhis and demanded dismissal of the Yogi Adityanath government. Other Opposition leaders also came down heavily on the UP government. While NCP chief Pawar called the "reckless behaviour" of UP Police towards Rahul Gandhi "extremely condemnable", DMK president M K Stalin demanded that UP CM Adityanath apologise for the "inhumane treatment" meted out to Gandhi. Rahul alleged that the police lathicharged and pushed him to the ground.
On Wednesday, following a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath formed a three-member SIT to investigate the incident and asked it to submit a report within seven days. Facing protests and widespread outrage, the state also said it would set up a fast track court to hear the case. Besides, it announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakh for the victim’s family, a government job for a family member, and a house in Hathras city under the State Urban Development Agency.
The Opposition parties, including the Congress, SP, BSP, and AAP, have targeted the government for the alleged “forced cremation” of the victim.
Hathras gangrape: The funeral pyre of the Hathras victim, hours later. (Express photo: Amil Bhatnagar)
The body of the victim was cremated a little after 3 am Wednesday — with her family saying police had forcibly performed the last rites late at night even though they wanted to bring her body home one last time.
The victim was initially admitted to a district hospital 15 days ago with her tongue cut off and spinal cord severely injured, among other serious injuries. She was later shifted to Aligarh hospital for treatment, before moving to Safdarjung Hospital in the national capital. The police said the victim had been dragged into a field and gangraped. She had also been strangled with her dupatta.