NHRC pulls up UP govt over 'serious violation of human rights' in Hathras fatal gangrape case
New Delhi/IBNS: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) India on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the fatal gangrape of 19-year-old women belonging to Scheduled Caste community in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh and called it a serious issue of human rights violation.
The 19-year-old girl went missing on Sept 14 and was found in a badly injured condition on Sept 22.
She was subjected to gangrape and brutality by four men in Hathras District of Uttar Pradesh two weeks ago following which she was shifted from the Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharal Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital when her condition deteriorated and there were no signs of improvement in her health condition.
The victim has died at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In its statement, the NHRC said: "The District Magistrate, Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has reportedly stated that the accused have also been booked under the SC/ST(POA) Act and the family of the victim has been given compensation of Rupees Ten Lakhs. He has also mentioned that a Fast Track Court will be set up to hear the case to punish the culprits at the earliest."
The girl was left paralysed with a spinal cord injury by the accused while her tongue was found cut.
According to the Superintendent of Police, Hathras, one Sandeep Singh was arrested the day when the victim was subjected to rape and later three more accused Lovkush Sikarwar, Ramu and Ravi were arrested when she named them in their statement before the Magistrate on Sept 22.
"The perpetrators reportedly tried to strangulate the victim when she tried to resist their attempts to rape her," the NHRC statement said.
The NHRC also mentioned media reports which revealed that the family of the victim has alleged that the body of the deceased was forcibly taken away for cremation by the police personnel.
The body of the deceased had reportedly reached her village around mid-night and the cremation was done by 3.00 A.M., on Wednesday.
It is mentioned in the news report that the villagers wanted to take the body of the woman to her house but the administration pressurized for cremation at the earliest.
The police authorities have however denied the allegation. It is reportedly stated by the SP, Hathras, that the cremation was done as usual, after the body reached Boolgarhi village in Hathras.
He has also stated that the situation is calm and heavy police force has been deployed in the village.
The Commission has gone through the contents of the media reports which are "very painful."
"A young woman belonging to SC community has been subjected to sexual harassment and brutality. It is apparent that the police was not able to take timely action to trace and save the victim girl due to which the young woman could not be saved from being subjected to grave cruelty," the NHRC noted.
"The way the perpetrators have acted shows that they had no fear of law in their mind. The family has suffered an irrevocable loss. A young and a precious human life has been lost."
"Not only this, there are also allegations made by the family that the police forcibly took away the body of the deceased for cremation have been revealed by the media. The incident has raised many questions about the law and order situation in the State. Many such incidents have occurred in the State of Uttar Pradesh where the members of the Scheduled Community have been subjected to discrimination and harassment by the people belonging to upper caste."
"There have been a number of instances of levelling allegations of inaction against the police authorities and the administration. This is a serious issue of violation of human rights," it said.
The Commission has directed to the UP government. to provide adequate protection to the family of the deceased keeping in view the gravity of the matter and aspect of the witness protection as there is "an apparent rift between two communities and there may be danger to the family of the deceased."
"The DGP, U.P. is expected to look personally into the matter to ensure a speedy trial so that the culprits could be punished by the competent court without any further delay. In the current scenario it is necessary that family of the deceased, as well as other members of the SC Community residing in the village, are provided proper protection by the police. Both the authorities are expected to submit their report, within the stipulated time," the statement added.
The Commission has asked for the responses from the state authorities within four weeks.