The CBI will investigate the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in District Hathras of Uttar Pradesh by a group of men, taking over the case that has triggered a nationwide debate over the cause of the crime. The nation saw a division between two claims, with leftists looking at the incident as a case of rape and murder of a Dalit girl by upper caste men while the right claims that one of the accused had drawn close to the victim, which her family did not tolerate, thus leading to ‘honour killing‘ by the brother and mother of the woman.
As the Allahabad High Court pulled up the Yogi Adityanath government for what was apparently an odd behaviour by Uttar Pradesh police in disposing of the body, the chief minister recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last week. The decision of the chief minister notwithstanding, the BJP dismissed the protests as “political stunts”.
The leftists accused the Uttar Pradesh government of locking up the victim’s family inside their house to hastily cremate their daughter at night. The state police denied the charge.
In one version of the story, four men of the village allegedly assaulted the 20-year-old woman on 14 September. In the other version, the victim’s mother and brother caught the woman courting one of the accused in the night in a field, was infuriated by the sight after which the victim’s own family and a few accomplices assaulted the woman. She died two weeks later of horrific injuries from the attack. She had multiple fractures, spinal injuries, a broken neck and a gash in her tongue.
While the family says the woman died as the result of a brutal sexual assault, the state police contend that the woman died due to a neck injury. The medical examination conducted by the police found no sperm in her forensic samples.