Hathras incident: Father of molested girl shot dead
Alleged molesters of a woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district have been accused of shooting dead her father after tormenting the family for over two years for lodging a police complaint against them.
The woman, aged 22, alleged her farmer father was in the field on Tuesday when six assailants, including the four alleged molesters, arrived in a car and fired indiscriminately, killing him on the spot. The woman alleged that she had called up the local police but received no help, just as she and her family had been mostly left at the mercy of the alleged molesters after her father lodged a compliant against them on July 16, 2018.
The woman, who carried the body of her 52-year-old father on her shoulders along with three relatives to the burning ghat, told reporters in her village while crying inconsolably that the accused had publicly threatened to kill him. She alleged that the police had been mounting pressure on her parents to withdraw the case.
“My father had registered a case against the four accused persons on July 16, 2018, complaining that they had been molesting me. Gaurav Sharma, the main accused, had been arrested at that time but was released on bail after 14 days. Since then, Gaurav, his family members and the three other accused, as also the police, had been mounting pressure on my father and mother to withdraw the case. They also continued to sexually harass me. Gaurav had said two days ago in the presence of many residents that he would kill my father,” the woman said.
Pictures have been widely shared on social media showing Gaurav with Shivpal Yadav, the president of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and younger brother of former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Shivpal said: “Someone taking a picture with me at a public place doesn’t mean that I know him.”
The woman told reporters that she and her mother had gone to give lunch to her father in a potato field when six men, including the four alleged molesters, came in a white car and shot him dead.
“I called up an officer of Sasani Gate police station when they opened fire on my father but instead of arriving, he asked me to call 112 (the police control room),” she said.
Vinit Jaiswal, the superintendent of police of Hathras, gave a different version of the crime. “The wife and aunt of main accused Gaurav Sharma had gone to a village temple where the woman (victim’s daughter) and mother arrived for a puja. They argued and soon the woman’s father and the accused persons came. The crime was committed there,” the officer said.
“Besides Gaurav, the daughter of the deceased has mentioned the names of Lalit Sharma, Rohtas Sharma and Nikhil Sharma. Two more accused persons are unidentified. We have arrested Lalit and a hunt is on to nab the others,” Jaiswal said.
In Hathras last year a Dalit teen had been gang-raped and murdered by four upper-caste men and the police had burnt her body in the dead of the night allegedly against the wishes of her family.
While chief minister Yogi Adityanath was busy campaigning for the BJP in Malda on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh’s information department officials told reporters that he had asked the police to book the accused under the National Security Act.