Hathras case: CBI files chargesheet against four accused on counts of gangrape, murder

The Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on 14 September. She had died on 29 September at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment

FP Staff December 18, 2020 15:52:13 IST
Hathras case: CBI files chargesheet against four accused on counts of gangrape, murder

Uttar Pradesh Police personnel stand guard outside the family house of a 19-year-old girl, who was allegedly gang-raped by four men, at Bool Garhi village in Hathras. AFP

Nearly three months after the alleged gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras came to light, the CBI on Friday filed a chargesheet in a local court invoking gangrape and murder against the four accused.

The Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on 14 September. She had died on 29 September at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.

The Hathras police had cremated her body in the dead of the night near her home on 30 September, triggering outrage across the country. Her family alleged they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites.

Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".

After months of investigation, the agency on Friday invoked charges of gangrape and murder against Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi and Ramu and the local court in Hathras has taken cognisance, lawyer for the accused told reporters outside a court in Uttar Pradesh.

The police has also invoked charges against the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the NDTV reported.

The agency has looked into the role of accused Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi and Ramu who are in judicial custody, officials said.

They were also put through different forensic tests at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Gandhinagar, they said. The CBI investigators had also met doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, where the victim was treated after the alleged gangrape on 14 September, they said.

The team has already recorded statements of family members of the victim.

The Yogi Adityanath Government had faced a lot of flak for the case after local officials were quoted as saying that "no rape had taken place". The case was later transferred to the CBI. The CBI had constituted a team to probe the incident and handed over the probe to its Ghaziabad unit.

In October, the Supreme Court had said that the Allahabad High Court will monitor the CBI probe.

The CBI had on 25 November furnished a status report of the rape case before The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court and said the probe will be over by 10 December. However, on 16 December, the probing agency had sought an extension after it failed to file a status report of the probe.

Opposition hails filing of CBI chargesheet

The development was hailed by Opposition leaders like Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Priyanka said that the truth has prevailed and the development raises serious questions on the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.

"The CBI charge sheet filed today against four accused in the Hathras case has stated that the 19-year old victim was brutally gangraped and murdered," the Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh said in a statement.

This development raises serious questions on the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh police, ADG Law and Order, District Magistrate of Hathras and Senior functionaries of the state administration, Priyanka alleged.

"The state left no stone unturned to deny the victim dignity — in life and death. She was cremated without her family's consent in the middle of the night. Senior police officers and bureaucrats outrightly denied any rape, intimidated her family and indulged in blatant shaming of the victim. Sections of media that dared to report the truth were manhandled," she alleged.

However, the entire might of the Uttar Pradesh government and police could not suppress the truth, she added. "I cannot forget the anguish of the 19-year-old's mother, who couldn't even bid her daughter goodbye. All that her family sought was justice for their child," she said.

"I am heartened to see that an important step towards providing that justice has been taken by the CBI and hope that it will bring the victim's family some comfort amidst the immense suffering that they have so courageously endured," Priyanka said.

Additionally, Akhilesh said the probe by the premiere central agency was ordered under "pressure" and justice can't be secured without struggle under the BJP rule.

In the Hathras incident, despite efforts of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, the CBI had to carry out the probe due to "pressure" from the public, opposition and the real media, he said in a Hindi tweet.

"Now, based on the statement of the victim, a charge sheet has been filed against four accused. From the BJP government, you get neither justice nor rights without fighting for it," Akhilesh said.

The Lucknow Bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Rajan Roy is set to hear the case again on 27 January.

With inputs from PTI

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