By: Jhanvi Tayal
The convictions, grisly depictions and nationwide movements after Delhi gang rape case, Kathua rape case, Priyanka Reddy case were supposed to instill a sense of fear in the minds of the perpetrators but that does not seem to have worked. According to NCRB 2019 annual report, 32033 rape cases were reported in the country, or an average of 88 cases daily which excludes hundreds of victims who wouldn’t have come forward due to societal and family pressure.
September 14, 2020 was the day when a 19 years old Dalit women was gang-raped in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, India allegedly by four men of dominant caste who finally succumbed to her injuries on 29 September, 2020 in the Safdarjung hospital, Delhi after fighting for her life for two days. The four culprits as accused by the victim namely Sandip, Ramu, Lavkush and Ravi were arrested by the authorities.
The UP government without any insistence of the family transferred the investigative authority to CBI on October 2 after the nationwide outcry on the incident which subsequently revealed negligence on police department’s end. The CBI registered their FIR based on the premise of the first FIR lodged on the case at Chandpa Police Station on September 14 for attempt to murder and under SC/ST Act against one Sandeep, victim’s ex-boyfriend. The complainant was victim’s brother.
Cops at the Chandapa police station were first to be approached by the Hathras victim’s family after the alleged gangrape and attempted murder but they didn’t follow the ideal procedures for recording the statement and sending the girl for medical examination, the Central Bureau of Investigation has reported in its chargesheet in the case. The cops at the police station did not record the statement according to the mandate provided under Section 154 of CrPC. The CBI chargesheet also highlighted the fact that no woman officer or the station house officer bothered to examine the victim till September 19.
The 2,000-page CBI charge sheet was prepared primarily on the basis of victim’s death bed statement made on September 22, 2020 in which she claimed to be gangraped naming four citizens of the village following which all the four youths were arrested by September 26. All the accused were unable to provide convincing alibis of their whereabouts around the time of the incident. Reacting to the charges of lapses five cops, including the SP, were suspended, as soon as the government came to know about their negligence. A senior official said that their probe was going in the right direction and all four accused were arrested immediately after the girl named them. The CBI took their FIR which had all the sections under which the accused had been charged.
The accused have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 376A(punishment for causing death of the victim resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim) and 376D (gang rape) of the IPC, and under Section 3(2)(v) of the SC/ST Act (offence punishable with imprisonment for a term of 10 years or more against a person on the grounds that the person belongs to an SC or ST community). The next hearing is scheduled for January 4 by the court. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court, which is regulating and monitoring the investigation, will take up the case on January 27, 2021. The family members of the victim though satisfied with the arrest will only be relieved after the court punishes the accused. The victim’s sister-in-law demanded that the DM Hathras be removed which was there only demand. Now, the dalit victim’s family and whole India waits for justice to be delivered.