UP police cremated Hathra's rape victim at night without family consent

New Delhi: Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad with the father of Hathras rape victim, leave in a car from Safdarjung hospital, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. A 19-year-old Dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh succumbed to injuries at a hospital in New Delhi after she was allegedly gangraped by four upper caste men in Hathras district on September 14. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh )(PTI29-09-2020_000214A)

Hathras (UP): The family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was gang-raped here, alleged on Wednesday that the police forcibly cremated the girl's body in the middle of the night.

Local police officers, however, told PTI that the cremation was being carried out as per the wishes of the family.

The woman was raped in a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.

As news of her death spread, protests broke out in Delhi as well as in Hathras with all sections of society, including politicians, sports and cine stars and activists, expressing their anguish and demanding justice for her.

The family left from Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Tuesday night amid heavy police deployment. The body was taken by the Uttar Pradesh police, which reached Hathras earlier than the family members, claimed a relative of the victim.

The police took the dead body and my father along with them for cremation. When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken (to the crematorium) by the police, a brother of the woman told PTI over the phone at 1 am on Wednesday.

Another relative said that the woman's father was accompanied by 30 to 40 people, chiefly relatives, and others from their neighbourhood had gone to the crematorium near Bool Garhi village, under Chandpa police station limits, in the district in western UP.

Senior police and administration officials were also present at the crematorium in the middle of the night, an official said.

"Humein ye samajh nahi aa raha kyun, kya chahiye... kaisi rajneeti kar rahe hain ye log, saare ulte seedhe bayaan de rahe hain ke ladki ka rape nahi hua hai... pata nahi kya chahiye inko," (We are unable to understand, what they want... what kind of politics is this, they are giving random statements like the woman has not been raped! We don't know what they want), said the relative who was home with the grieving family.

"Ye sab is maamle ko thanda karne ke liye bol rahe hain... (They are doing all this to hush up the case)," he added.

When contacted, Hathras Superintendent of Police Vikrant Vir told PTI in a text message: All procedures are done as per the wish of the family.

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