Author- Prakhar Vishwas Mishra*
Editor- Shuvasmita Nanda
The matter explained
A very horrific incident took place on 14th September 2020 in the village of Boolgarhi district Hathras. There are many versions of the incident, including the one that the family is telling and the other one being told by the UP police. Both the stories are contradicting each other at many points, however I as a writer of this article will present the real raw facts according to which you as reader would have to apply your conscience and think that which side is siding with truth and which side is just trying to cover their guilty intentions.
Also, this present case is under investigation so it’s a request from my part to the readers of this article that please do act as a responsible “Netizen” and try to understand the facts rather than guessing the culprits because you would never know that what’s hidden behind a door if you will merely guess that what’s behind it rather than trying to push it through.
The Family's version
The brother of the victim reached Chand Pa police station after the incident where he reported that his sister and mother together went to the fields in the morning. While working in the fields some people came and dragged his sister away in the bushes. His mother working distant from his sister and being partially deaf wasn't able to hear her screams. Later, when she couldn't find her for a long time, then the mother searched for the victim following her fallen slipper in the shrivelled bushes, consequently finding her unconscious and half naked. He also stated that at the first site the mother noticed that victims both eyes have been punctured, tongue was sliced off as well as her spine was broken by the offenders.
Taking an initial statement from the victim the name of Sandeep came out as the prime accused who tried to murder the victim after this the police lodged the complaint under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and Scheduled Cast and Scheduled Tribes Act (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 starting its initial investigation and the victim was admitted in Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Aligarh. Sandeep the prime accused whose name was recorded in the very first statement given by the victim was caught on 19th September. However, on 22nd September a second statement was recorded by a lady officer in which the victim mentioned that including Sandeep there were total four offenders who also raped her before the attempt of murder. This made the police act accordingly adding the relevant sections of gang rape i.e. Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 in the FIR started the search for the other three accused as named by the victim in her second statement.
In the matter of following four days the police caught the other three accused as well. The three of them were identified as Luvkush, Ravi and Ramu who all belong to the same village as Sandeep and the victim. CM Yogi Adityanath discussed this matter with PM Modi and both of them were of the same opinion that this matter should be resolved through a Fast Track Court. The victim on the other hand was shifted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on 28th of September as her condition deteriorated, and sadly she breathed her last on 29th of September. After, the sad demise of the victim a very weird or a shocking behavior was noticed on the part of the U.P police officials as they took the body of the victim to her village late at night but rather than taking the body to the house of the victim they directly headed towards the fields. After which the family says that they were forced to carry out the cremation ceremony of the victim and were beaten up by the UP police when they denied doing the same. The family members further said that they were locked and barricaded inside their house and UP police burnt the body of the victim against their will at around 2:45 am on 30th of September.
The U.P police’s side of the story
Uttar Pradesh Police has been very adamant in their stands, as they are not ready to tolerate a single blame that is being thrown towards them. They said in their statement that the victim, her brother and her mother all three of them did not even mentioned about rape in their initial statement which they recorded on 14th of September, however the U.P police acted swiftly and caught the prime accused Sandeep as identified by the victim herself. After, the second statement of the victim which was recorded by one of their lady officers on 22nd of September the victim accused three more people and added that all four of them committed rape on her before attempting the murder.
The U.P police caught all the three remaining culprits within next four days of the second statement being recorded. However, the initial medical reports showed that both of the eyes of the victim are unharmed and her tongue got bruised as it got jammed between the jaws of the victim as her neck was being strangled by a dupatta. The report also clarified that the spine of the victim has not been broken out rightly rather she has suffered spinal injury and it is not working properly because of the amount of pressure applied on her neck during the strangulation.
Even the post mortem report from Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital showed that the victim died to a “cervical injury suffered due to blunt force of trauma” also a video was circulated in media and on the social media platforms in which ADG Prashant Kumar claimed that there was no rape done on the victim and as an evidence for his claim he put forward the FSL report of the victim which said that no excretion of semen or sperm has been found from the victim’s body.
However, a large scale criticism is being done on this as experts are saying that a sperm can survive for up to maximum five days and when it's inside the women’s body and here in this case the sampling have been done 15 days after the day of the crime committed which directly shows the lack of conscience on the part of the U.P police here.
Points that we being a responsible “Citizen” as well as a “Netizen” should understand
We now know both the versions of the story, but certain crucial claims have been made from both the sides. “Indian Media” has undergone a bifurcation for this case, as some news channels have already adjudged the U.P government and the police who are trying to cover up the case by burning the body of the victim which resulted in destruction of vital evidence and ultimately they have violated law. Not only that, they have also snatched away the Right to life and personal liberty of the victim by not even letting her family perform her last rites with all the proper rituals that she deserved at the least.
The police officials when asked kept on saying that they did not allow the victim’s body to reach her house as they were in a fear that a riot based on the caste separation could get ignited during the night. They wanted to maintain peace and for that they decided to perform the cremation under their supervision.
“In my personal opinion, any law or regulation does not provide such power to any authority to deny a person or his or her family from performing dignified burial/cremation ceremony”.
The last cremation ceremony is a right recognized under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. A person should be provided with a dignified burial or cremation upon his heavenly abode. The U.P government as well as the police failed in doing so. It was really painful and heart breaking to see a mother cry for her daughter’s body in front of the police officials so that she could at least keep her corpse in her arms for the last time. Media as well as the opposition party have already started to capitalize over this matter and they are not leaving a single chance of playing their dirty political games.
In India politics has always been a point of criticism, but media in this particular case has been acting in an in-humane manner. Actually, these Politicians and media journalists are the people with evil faces hiding behind the masks of securing justice for the victim.They are literally organizing big debates on their news channels and rather than stating the facts they are trying to impose their personnel opinions over their viewers.
Some news channels are raising doubts over the victim’s rape claim, trying to find angles in this particular case. I agree to that but the media channels should also be aware of this fact that if a rape victim says that she has been raped and following which if she dies then the statement made by her is enough evidence to take action against the culprits and this deduction came out after the infamous Nirbhaya case of 2013.
We thought that after that case certain changes would be seen in our laws and regulations which will make our daughters and sisters more safe than ever however even now 90 rape cases are recorded everyday and 32,500 total cases are reported in a year throughout the country. So, being the writer of this article I cannot give false hopes of the situation being getting any better but yes, every problem has its own type of solutions.
Judiciaries’ intervention in this case and possible solutions for this horrific crime of rape
Honorable Supreme Court heard a PIL regarding this case and stated this incident as “shocking” and “horrible”. SC asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to file an affidavit detailing the witness protection regarding this case. The SC was hearing this PIL regarding the role of the UP police in the hathras case. On the other hand Allahabad High Court took a suo moto cognizance in this particular matter, specially the act done by the UP police of cremating the body in a hurried manner at 2:45 am in the mid-night.
The bench constituting of Justices Ranjan Roy and Jaspreet Singh stated that the rights provided under the Indian Constitution were whether or not ensured to the parents of the deceased, and the deceased herself is of a paramount nature in this particular case. The bench also emphasised that it would like to make sure that whether there was any type of advantage taken by the administrations over the financial and social standards of the deceased victim’s family. The Allahabad High Court would hear this particular matter on 12th of October in the presence of all the parties demanded by it to be present in the hearing.
The possible solutions of this increasing rate of rapes in the country:
- An average Indian family always thinks that their daughters should not roam around late at night and she should not walk around in short dresses in public gatherings rather training their sons and teaching them on how to respect an other human being classified in a different gender.
-Merely increasing the number of schools will not increase the literacy of the Country. Even now there are teachers in India who are not able to speak or teach on the topic of Sex education openly. Some teachers even prefer skipping this topic in the curriculum, and literally I am cracking no joke here. Procreation is an inevitable truth of a living society of which India is the best example being the second most populous country on the planet earth. So why still people are ashamed about it till now in India? Again the answer and the solution of this problem is rooted in our moral teachings, which begins in our family by our parents themselves.
-Today parents think that they were earning money and providing supplies, School or college fee etc for their children and their job is done. What about the child’s social and moral education?
Many boys today develop some kind of sexual frustration and that frustration is absolutely normal in the teenagers .However, this frustration can be channelized by the parent’s involvement. They can talk it out with their child and let him know that how can he cope up with it. Especially a father can share his experience with his son and tell him that how he used to manage these types of situations in his teenage. Yeah it can absolutely change the whole scenario of our country but it’s not a quick feet to achieve. Atleast, I can expect this from the readers of this article that they must be understanding some points that I am trying to make here.
Now when it comes to the lower deprived classes of the society, then the situations gets tough and we cannot expect this from a person who is fighting for his and his families’ survival can impart sexual education to his or her children. Although in this case a huge role can be played by the Indian Government as they can not only try to commute the sexual education through weekly social drives but also promote NGO’s who are working in this particular field. In the last, to sum up I would like to quote few lines:-
“An uneducated man having good moral values,
Is hundred times better than an educated man with no moral values”
1. “Hathras gang rape: Victim cremated, accused arrested. All you need to know about the case”, OP INDIA https://www.opindia.com/2020/09/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-hathras-gang-rape-case-police/.(accessed on OCTOBER 7, 2020)
2.“No Rape In Hathras Case, Senior UP Cop Claims, Citing Forensic Report”, NDTV https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/hathras-gang-rape-autopsy-report-shows-victim-was-strangled-suffered-cervical-spine-injury-2303696.(accessed on OCTOBER 7, 2020)
3.Nandita Rao and Iti Pandey, “Brutality of Hathras crime, brazen police abdication, have shaken and shamed us all”
pradesh-court-6663931/.(accessed on OCTOBER 8, 2020)
4.State v. Ram Singh And Another, (2013) SC No. 114/2013
5.“Statistics on rape in India and some well-known cases”,
https://in.reuters.com/article/us-india-rape-factbox/statistics-on-rape-in-india-and-some-well-known-cases-idUSKBN1YA0UV.(accessed on OCTOBER 9, 2020)
*The Author Prakhar Vishwas Mishra is a B.A.LLB(Hons) student at Jagran Lakecity University(School of Law), Bhopal.
Disclaimer-This article is the original submission of the Author. VAIDHA doesn't hold any liability arising out of this article.