Confirming rape and murder, the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a charge sheet against the original four accused — Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi, and Ramu — in the infamous Hathras incident. The charge sheet accused the four upper-caste men of rape, assault, murder, and other relevant sections of the SC/ST (prevention) Atrocities Act. The Hathras incident had invoked a countrywide rage, following the rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.
The girl was allegedly raped by the four upper caste men on September 14 and she, in a statement to the magistrate, named the four accused as having raped her. She died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital succumbing to her injuries on September 29.
The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30. According to her family, they were allegedly forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. The police, however, said the cremation was carried out “as per the wishes of the family”. The Yogi Adityanath Government had faced a lot of flak for the case, which was later transferred to the CBI.
The forced cremation led the Allahabad High Court to take suo moto cognisance. On October 28, the Supreme Court said the Allahabad High Court would monitor the probe conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
CBI officials looked into the role of the four accused that are in judicial custody. The four were also put through different forensic tests at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Gandhinagar. The officers had also met doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital, where the victim was treated after the alleged gang rape.
Sandeep, the main accused had written to Uttar Pradesh police from jail, claiming that he and the three other accused are being framed in the case. He sought “justice” for the four men. He also accused the victim’s mother and brother of torturing her. The victim’s family has denied these allegations.
The CBI, on November 25, submitted a status report on the inquiry into the gang-rape case before the Allahabad High Court. The agency had said that its inquiry would be over by December 10. However, on Wednesday, it asked for more time from the Allahabad High Court to conclude its investigation following which the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday fixed January 27 as the next date of hearing in the case.