Hathras chargesheet fails to allay kin fears
The family of the Hathras gang-rape-and-murder victim on Saturday said they were unsure of justice being done despite the CBI filing a chargesheet, for the four accused had supporters among “powerful people” and state police officers.
“We shall feel that justice has been done only when the four accused are hanged and the police officers who burnt her (victim’s) body against our wishes are punished,” the 19-year-old victim’s sister-in-law told reporters at the family home.
“Yes, the CBI chargesheet says our daughter was gang-raped on September 14 and died on September 29 of injuries inflicted by the four accused, but many things are happening around us,” she added.
“There are powerful people openly standing behind the four criminals, and there are officers in the state and the district who don’t believe it’s a case of gang rape.”
She added: “We know we have put our lives in danger by waging a war against the tormentors and killers of our daughter.”
After the victim was brutalised in a field on September 14, the police had refused to file gang-rape charges for eight days till the girl made a statement from her hospital bed on September 22. Police sources have said she named the four suspects and alleged gang rape. The investigators are treating it as a dying declaration.
After her death in a Delhi hospital, the Uttar Pradesh police “hijacked” the body and burnt it in her village, allegedly after locking up her family at their home.
Days later, a senior police officer declared the girl had not been raped, while the administration virtually cordoned the family off from media contact.
The case was transferred to the CBI in the second week of October on a recommendation from the state government. The family is under CRPF protection on a directive from the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.
The family of one of the four accused, Sandeep Singh, is gearing to “challenge the CBI chargesheet in court”, a relative told reporters on the condition of anonymity.
“The girl never clearly alleged gang rape, and mentioned only two names clearly (as those of her attackers) in her last statement,” he said.
“That statement was not a dying declaration since it came a week before her death. The CBI chargesheet won’t stand in court. We’ll meet our child at Hathras district jail in a day or two and tell him not to worry.”
He added: “We have written to the government seeking a lie-detector test on the girl’s family members.”
The other three suspects are Luvkush Kumar, Ramu Singh and Ravi Kumar.
Munni Devi, mother of Luvkush, said: “I was working in the field when I heard a noise in an adjoining field. The girl was lying unconscious. I asked my son to bring water. Later, he was implicated in the case.”
Rakesh Kumar, father of Ram Kumar, said: “My son was working in a chiller plant near the village. His attendance was marked and he can be seen in CCTV footage working there at the time of the incident.”
Alok Singh, senior jail superintendent at Hathras district jail, said the four suspects were in a quarantine centre at the prison and would be shifted to ordinary cells on Monday.
“The CBI had taken them to Gandhinagar on November 21 for a polygraph test and a brain electrical oscillation signature (both are lie tests). They were brought back on December 6 and put in 14 days’ quarantine.”