Hathras Gangrape: Woman’s family wants Supreme Court-monitored inquiry

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The family members of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who was allegedly gangraped in Hathras last month, said they were against a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe on Sunday, and sought a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry instead. Upper-caste groups, in a mahapanchayat in Hathras on Saturday, had welcomed Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s recommendation of the CBI probe.

“We do not require a CBI probe, but want the proceedings to take place in a fast-track court under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge,” the brother of the woman, who died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, said.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the state government continued its probe and recorded the statements of the woman’s family members.

“We are open to anyone who wants to present himself before SIT and get his or her statement (recorded),” said senior IPS officer Bhagwan Swaroop who heads the three-member SIT.

At Saturday’s mahapanchayat — called by former Hathras MLA Rajveer Pehalwan and attended by about 700 people — participants welcomed the recommendation of the CBI probe and also questioned the objections raised by the woman’s family to such an investigation as well as the narco-analysis test. The speakers at the mahapanchayat claimed the four men arrested for the gangrape were innocent.

The participants decided that the lawyers who attended the mahapanchayat would meet SIT members to apprise them of the “facts”.

On Sunday, the authorities placed barricades around Boolgarhi village so that no more than five people at a time could enter.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, a five-member delegation of the Samajwadi Party, and Rashtriya Lok Dal vice-president Jayant Chaudhary are expected to visit the village on Sunday.

Meanwhile, safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) continued their protest in Agra on Sunday against the gangrape and THE death of the woman. On Saturday, the sanitation workers had pelted the municipal corporation’s garbage removal vehicles with stones.

On September 14, the woman had alleged that she was gang-raped by four men. On September 29, the woman succumbed to her injuries at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. She was cremated by authorities at night as her family members alleged police rushed the entire process, a charge that led to nationwide outrage. However, the administration said the cremation was conducted with the family’s consent.

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