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Business News/ News / India/  Hathras gang-rape case: A look at the timeline as UP court sets 3 accused free
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Hathras gang-rape case: A look at the timeline as UP court sets 3 accused free

Three of the four accused was acquitted by an Uttar Pradesh court on Thursday, while the fourth and main accused, Sandeep Sisodia was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder but not of rape, according to reports.

Congress activists and members of AIPC hold candles as they protest against the Hathras gangrape and death of the victim, at Jantar mantar, in New DelhiPremium
Congress activists and members of AIPC hold candles as they protest against the Hathras gangrape and death of the victim, at Jantar mantar, in New Delhi

The Hathras Gang Rape case: On 14 September 2020, a 19 year old Dalit girl was raped gang-raped in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, India, by four men, allegedly upper caste. That girl who was shifted to a Delhi hospital for treatment, died two weeks later. 

The crime meted out to the Dalit girl found uproar, outcry from all over the country. The crime caught widespread attention as the Uttar Pradesh Police was accused of cremating the girl's body without the family's consent in order to hide evidence. 

It also saw bizzare developments wherein, Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested on his way to cover the news. He was released two years later. 

The case was the subject of protests against the Yogi Adityanath government by activists and opposition.

But what led to this string of shocking incidents? 

The Incident- 14 September 2020: At around 9:30 am, the victim and her mother went to work in the fields of Boolgarhi village, Hathras district. They were working in the fields of Thakur villagers. 

The mother, about 100 metres away from the daughter, heard her screaming and rushed to find her. When she found her, she saw her lying on the ground covered in blood, with her tongue cut off. They then took the victim to the nearest police station – Chandpa police station.

Uttar Pradesh police delays filing FIR: An hour later, the victim, her mother and brother reached the police station. The family alleges that the police significantly delayed registering an FIR and also told them to take the victim away. The victim’s brother says that Sandeep, one of the accused, attempted to kill her. An FIR was filed against accused Sandeep under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code.

The videos that were later circulated on social media showed the victim telling the police, “Gala daba diya (They strangled me)." Asked why, she said, “Zabardasti na karne de rahi taiku (Because I did not let them force me)."

Struggle for medical treatment: The 19 year old girl was taken to the a district hospital, where the doctor referred her to the AMU JNMC Hospital citing lack of infrastructure. She was then admitted to JNMC Hospital in Aligarh where she stayed for 14 days and her health continued to worsen. 

19 September Recording statement: The Dalit girl's statement was recorded where she alleged that she was raped by four men- Sandeep, Ramu, Lavkush and Ravi.  In her three recorded statements she mentioned that "she was raped" and was strangled when she attempted to resist.

29 September death: The 19 year old girl died of fractures and mutilations

30 September Cremation: The victim was cremated on the night at about 2:30 am by Uttar Pradesh Police without the consent or knowledge of the victim's family. The brother of the victim alleged that it was done without the family's consent and that they were locked up in their house.

Police, administration deny rape: When the news broke out initially through social media, Agra Police, Hathras District Magistrate, and UP's Information & Public Relations called it "fake news". Later, a senior UP Police officer claimed that no sperm was found in samples as per forensic report and that some people had "twisted" the incident to stir "caste-based tension." The officer also said that the forensic report revealed that the victim was not raped.

The family alleged that they were faced pressure from the administration. A video emerged in which the Hathras District Magistrate is seen pressuring the family into changing their statement. He could be heard saying "Don’t ruin your credibility. These media people will leave in a couple of days. Half have already left, the rest will leave in 2–3 days. We are the ones standing with you. Now it depends on you if you want to keep changing your testimony...."

On 3 October, the state government suspended five police officers including the Superintendent of Police.

11 October CBI probe: The CBI began its investigation on 10 October, amid nationwide outrage, after notification from central government.

13 October Allahabad High Court: The Allahabad High Court notes that the hurried cremation of the woman “is prima facie an infringement upon the human rights of the victim and her family".

Arrest: After the CBI filed chargesheet accusing the four upper caste men of rape and murder, Hathras police arrested the four accused — Sandeep, Ramu, Lavkush and Ravi — on charges of attempt to murder, gang rape and violations of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Accused acquitted in 2023: Three of four men accused in the 2020 Hathras case were set free by an Uttar Pradesh court Thursday. The fourth - a Sandeep Sisodia - was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under sections of the SC/ST Act but not of rape, reports indicated

 

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Published: 02 Mar 2023, 04:01 PM IST
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