Rape victim cremated, family kept out
Some family members of a 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was gang-raped here, alleged on Wednesday that police had confined them to their home while they cremated her body late last night.
Local police officers, however, told PTI that the cremation was carried out as per the wishes of the family.
The woman was raped in a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.
As news of her death spread, protests broke out in Delhi as well as in Hathras with all sections of society, including politicians, sports and cine stars and activists, expressing their anguish and demanding justice for her.
The family left from Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Tuesday night amid heavy police deployment. The body was taken by the Uttar Pradesh police, which reached Hathras earlier than the family members, claimed a kin of the victim.
According to ndtv.com, the woman's body was taken to her village in Hathras, about 200 km from Delhi, after midnight. As her family and villagers suspected the UP police wanted to complete the last rites right then, in the middle of the night, they insisted that it was "against their tradition"; the woman's father pleaded with the police to be allowed to take her home and cremate her in the morning.
At the village, female relatives tried to block the vehicle by hugging the bonnet. A woman, believed to be the mother of the 20-year-old, sat on the road sobbing and beating her chest.
The police vehicle was stopped at multiple points before the cops allegedly pushed the protesters away and drove towards the funeral ground.
Appeals were also made to District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar to take her body to her home for last rites after daybreak.
At 2:30 AM, while most of her family was home, the police cremated the body.
“Humein ye samajh nahi aa raha kyun, kya chahiye... kaisi rajneeti kar rahe hain ye log, saare ulte seedhe bayaan de rahe hain ke ladki ka rape nahi hua hai... pata nahi kya chahiye inko (We are unable to understand, what they want... what kind of politics is this, they are giving random statements like the woman has not been raped! We don't know what they want),” said a relative who was home with the grieving family, PTI reported.
“Ye sab is maamle ko thanda karne ke liye bol rahe hain... (They are doing all this to hush up the case),” he alleged.
When contacted, Hathras SP Vikrant Vir told PTI in a text message: All procedures as per wish of family .. (sic).
All four attackers, upper caste men from the woman's village, are in jail. They will now also be charged with murder.