Policemen cremate the body of a 19-year-old Dalit gang rape victim in the early hours of September 30, 2020 in U.P.’s Hathras district.

Policemen cremate the body of a 19-year-old Dalit gang rape victim in the early hours of September 30, 2020 in U.P.’s Hathras district.

CDRO Statement on Hathras incident

CO-ORDINATION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS ORGANISATION (CDRO)

Press Release

10th October 2020

CONDEMNS RAPE AND MURDER OF A DAILT  YOUNG WOMAN AND INEPT  HANDLING
OF CASE BY THE UP POLICE

The conscience of the nation was shaken with the news of gang-raping
followed by a brutal murder of a young Dalit woman in the Hathras
village in UP. CDRO condemns in no uncertain terms this rape and
murder of the young girl of Hathras village.

The nineteen-year-old had been gang-raped when she had gone for
collecting grass for cattle. Her neck bone and spinal cord were broken
during attempts to strangulate her, and her tongue was cut-off. She
was shifted to a hospital in Delhi in bad health condition for
treatment where she died on last Wednesday.

As if this ghastly incidence is not enough, the UP police have shown
total apathy and complete disregard towards democratic rights. The UP
police have tried to shield the upper caste rapists belonging to the
Thakur community. On the other hand, the body of the victim, brought
to her native village, was whisked off by the police forces to cremate
it in the wee hours of the morning. This entire action was carried out
without the consent of the family members of the girl. The police
force did not allow the press or any activists or political activists
to enter the village by cordoning off the area and this news of
cremation by the state would have been concealed, if not for a brave
reporting by a journalist who could evade the police cordon and enter.
The District Magistrate had even threatened the family of the victim
of severe consequences if they speak to anyone about the gang rape.
The higher authorities of UP police tried to wish away the incident by
citing the forensic report from the hospital in Delhi, which had ruled
out the occurrence of rape. UP police authority conveniently ignored
the fact that forensic report in case of rape should have been
performed within 72 hours and not after 11 days!. They also did not
take into cognisance of the dying statement of the victim where she
had mentioned about the rape. ‘At one point, a cop is also heard
saying to the parents of the victim, “Aur aap log maaniye ki aap log
se bhi galti hui hai.” (you will also have to accept that you made a
mistake too)’ (https://feminisminindia.com/2020/10/01/hathras-rape-case-up-thakur-caste-based-violence/).

CDRO considers that this apathy towards a rape victim is not a sudden
deterioration of UP law & order but is a clear manifestation of the
systematic violation of democratic rights guaranteed by the
constitution on the right to life under Article 21 that ensures human
dignity as part of the right to life. Let us look into a few recent
incidences where this behaviour is evident.

When the migrant workers returned from cities to their home state of
UP in the wake of lockdown due to Corona pandemic, they were treated
like animals— dumped in a crowded space, sprayed disinfectant on
their bodies without care for their life and safety. The broad
daylight lynching of religious minorities, death in police custody,
encounter killing, or harassment meted out to the anti-CAA protesters
and imposing draconian UAPA on them all speak of scant respect of the
Yogi-government for democratic norms enshrined in the constitution.
Their actions bear testimony to the fact that these are openly
anti-people, pro-upper caste and upper class. The hooligans of the
Hindutva brigade had carried out a campaign against so-called love
jihaad which not only got support from the BJP government but also
from opposition leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, and this shows how
deep the communal divisions and patriarchy run in UP society. So it
does not come as a big surprise when we read and hear about
MahaPanchayat organised in support of the rapists belonging to Thakur
community or the District Magistrate’s threat to the family of the
victim for complaining against rape and murder.

CDRO firmly believes that abject failure in upholding law and order by
the lower rank of administration, police or judiciary cannot happen
without the support from the higher echelons in power.

We demand:

1. Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister, should resign taking
responsibility of complete collapse of law and order and for reluctant
steps taken by his administration.

2. We condemn UP government’s attempt to suggest that there is an
international conspiracy aimed at defaming the government as we
strongly believe that it is nothing but a ploy to distract and divert
the people from the actual issue of covering up the crime and
destroying the shreds of evidence in order to protect the upper caste
perpetrators.

3. The S.P., DSP, D.M., ADM in charge of the district police and
executive should be suspended forthwith and action initiated upon them
for the perpetration of atrocity under SC/ST atrocity act, a threat to
the life of the victim, attempts to destroy evidence.

4. Institute an enquiry commission under a sitting judge and bring to
book the perpetrators of rape and murder as well as overt or covert
abettors of crime.

5. Fast track the trial under the supervision of the Allahabad High
Court, which to our satisfaction, has suo moto taken cognisance of the
crime.

6.Provide protection to the victims family. Award suitable
compensation for loss of life from government coffers.

7. Withdraw the false charges imposed upon the political and
democratic rights activists as well as journalists who were attempting
to visit the village, meet the family members of the victims to bring
out the truth.

8. Arrest all rungs of unscrupulous leaders who try to whip up caste
rivalry and hate campaign and interfere/obstruct in the process of
justice.

9. Those running parallel extra-judicial processes like caste
MahaPanchayats and the abettors for the MahaPanchayats have to be
arrested forthwith for extra-judicial activities as per the Supreme
Court directive against such MahaPanchayats obstructing the judicial
process.

K.Kranthi Chaitanya, Prit Pal Singh, Tapas Chakraborty and V. Raghunath

(Coordinators of CDRO)

Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR,
Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West
Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti
Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh);
Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of
Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of
Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights
(Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights; Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (Hariyana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janhastakshep (Delhi)

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