Hathras gangrape accused claim innocence in letter to SP; victim's kin move Allahabad HC against 'illegal confinement'
The gangrape victim's family have termed the letter to the Hathras SP as 'lies' and said that none of them knew any of the four accused
The main accused in the Hathras case wrote a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Police, claiming that he and the 19-year-old Dalit girl who was brutally gang-raped before she succumbed to the injuries at a Delhi hospital were "friends" and that all the four accused in the case were innocent.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government sent two Additional Director General (ADG) and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police-level special officers to Hathras district and Aligarh Range for seven days.
The government took the decision to send these officers on Wednesday in view of the law and order situation arising out of the case, reported news agency ANI.
As per reports, the victim's family has filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court claiming that they had been "confined" to their house by the security personnel and were not being allowed to either go out or speak to anyone.
Hathras gangrape accused claim innocence in letter to SP
All the four accused in the Hathras gangrape, including the prime accused Sandeep Singh, in a handwritten letter to Hathras superintendent of police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal, claimed that they were being framed in the case and sought "justice".
The letter dated 7 October has the thumb impressions of the four accused in the case — Sandeep, Luv Kush, Ravi and Ramu alias Ramkumar — and also has their names mentioned in it. It was written from the Aligarh district jail, where the four are currently lodged, and has gone viral on social media, PTI reported.
The letter has comes amid reports claiming that the victim's family knew one of the accused.
In the letter, the main accused, Sandeep, has also stated that he was friends with the gangrape victim, due to which her mother and brother had thrashed the 19-year-old Dalit woman, leading to serious injuries that resulted in her death.
It has also been stated in the letter that the Dalit and the main accused were from the same village. And besides meeting in person, they often used to talk to each other over the phone, but her family did not approve of their friendship.
On the day of the alleged incident, Sandeep said, he met the girl but her mother and brother, who were also there, asked him to leave, following which he immediately left for home.
It was only later that he came to know from villagers that the mother and brother of the girl beat her up severely over their friendship, causing serious injuries that led to her death, the main accused has said in the letter.
He has also stated that he never beat up or did anything wrong with the girl and her mother and brother had framed him and the three others and sent them to jail.
The three other accused, including Ravi and Ramu who are his uncles, were sent to jail in this "false" case on different days, Sandeep has pointed out.
The accused have claimed innocence and urged the SP to get the matter probed and ensure justice to them.
Jaiswal has confirmed receiving the letter.
The victim's family members, however, termed Sandeep's claims as "lies" and said that none of them knew any of the four accused, including Sandeep.
"Neither Sandeep nor any other accused persons ever visited us... he is lying... Sandeep is also the name of one of her (victim's) brothers... it is a conspiracy to get them released from jail," said one of the family members of the victim told Deccan Herald on Thursday.
“She didn’t have a cellphone and didn’t know how to use one. These allegations are false and the men are trying to malign us. We are tired of these baseless allegations. Sandeep has been harassing my sister-in-law for months,” the victim’s sister-in-law told The Indian Express.
Victim's family moves Allahabad HC against 'illegal confinement'
Late Wednesday evening, the victim’s family resorted to moved the Allahabad High Court alleging that the district administration had illegally confined them to their house.
As per Hindustan Times, a habeas corpus petition was filed by a Valmiki organisation named Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Mahapanchayat’s on behalf of the family.
The woman’s family members alleged that they were locked up in their house by the district administration on 29 September (the day the woman died) and 30 September.
According to the petition, the woman’s parents, brothers, and two other relatives were stopped from meeting and talking to the people freely, which was a violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.
The matter is posted for hearing today (8 October).
Hathras victim deserves justice, not slander: Priyanka Gandhi
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday accused the BJP of building a narrative to defame the Hathras victim, saying she deserves justice and not slander.
She charged that a narrative is being built by the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh for holding the woman responsible for crimes committed against her.
..Her body has been burned without the participation or consent of her family.
SHE DESERVES JUSTICE NOT SLANDER.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) October 8, 2020
The Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh also used a hashtag, accusing the BJP of being "shameless". Priyanka and her brother Rahul Gandhi had earlier visited the victim's family last Saturday.
Activist moves SC for monitored CBI probe, witness protection
Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad-led Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has approached the Supreme Court to transfer the Hathras case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ensure proper witness protection is accorded in the case, reports Bar&Bench.
The plea said that there are senior police officials and elected representatives who were "underplaying" the heinous offence and "prejudging" the issue. The CJP moved the court while filing an intervention application seeking to intervene in the Hathras case pending before it.
The application has urged the apex court that a retired Supreme Court judge be appointed to examine the circumstances which led to the cremation of the girl at night without her family.
It also referred to reports where it was stated that an officer involved in the probe said that there was "no sexual assault".
The application also pointed out the 2 October statement from the Uttar Pradesh government, where it was stated that a polygraph and a narco analysis test for the victim's family would be conducted, reports ANI.
The CJP sought directions from the court to assign Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) for the security of the witnesses in the case, and asked that none of the officers assigned should be from the cadre of Uttar Pradesh.
It said that witness protection is needed while considering the economic background of the victim's family and to avoid their further alienation and intimidation.
TMC continues rallies, demands action from Centre, UP
The Trinamool Congress continued protests against the gangrape and murder case with members of its women's wing taking out a rally in Kolkata demanding that BJP governments at the Centre and Uttar Pradesh take steps to ensure safety of women and minorities.
Speaking at the rally, TMC women wing president Chandrima Bhattacharjee deplored BJP's failure to stop "increasing attacks" on Dalits, women and minorities in the states ruled by it, and the Centre's alleged silence on such attacks that have taken place in the recent months.
The procession marched from Jadavpur to Golpark in the southern part of the city.
A similar protest march had been taken out by the party on Tuesday and was participated by hundreds of women activists.
Coming down heavily on BJP, Bhattacharya said while there has been no let up in attacks on women and Dalits in BJP-ruled states, the saffron party has "unleashed anarchy" in West Bengal in the name of democratic protests.
"While our protests have always been peaceful, see how they (BJP) are instigating violence in West Bengal. BJP does don't believe in democracy," Bhattacharya said referring to BJP's march to the state secretariat during the day.
Some of the TMC rallyists flaunted 'I am Dalit' posters, while some others carried festoons. Similar rallies were taken out in different districts of the state by women activists of the party.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had launched the party's series of protests against the alleged gangrape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit girl at Hathras which triggered nationwide outrage.
Banerjee had walked in the first protest rally by TMC on Saturday and had called BJP "the biggest pandemic in the country".
The party launched a series of protest rallies against the Hathras atrocity after a delegation including two-party MPs led by Derek O'brien was prevented from meeting the kin of the deceased woman by UP police.
With inputs from agenices
On being detained, Priyanka asked “what’s the big deal” if she wanted to meet the deceased’s family. She was later given permission to go to Agra.
Had the Congress been serious about women empowerment, it would have made such statements in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa where it is in serious contest for power in the 2022 elections
Arun Valmiki was accused of stealing money on Saturday night from a police station's evidence locker. He died in custody