The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the investigation into the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh on September 14.
Officials said the law enforcement agency registered an FIR on Sunday (October 11) morning under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to gangrape and murder.
The case was earlier registered at Chandpa Police Station, in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, based on a complaint by the victim’s brother. “The complainant had alleged that on 14.09.2020, the accused tried to strangulate his sister in the millet field. The case has been registered by CBI on the request of Uttar Pradesh Government and further Notification from Government of India,” CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur said.
The agency has constituted a team to probe the case, he added.
Earlier, the Centre issued a notification on Saturday (October 10) for the CBI to take over the probe into the alleged gang-rape and death of the 19-year-old Dalit woman.
The notification has been marked to a suitable branch of the premier agency, and probe teams will be dispatched to the crime scene along with forensic experts immediately after the registration of an FIR, they said.
The woman had died due to severe injuries on her body at a Delhi hospital on September 29, two weeks after she was allegedly raped at her village by four “upper caste” men.
The Yogi Adityanath government had already sought a probe by the CBI last week even as they dismissed the protests across the country as “political stunts”.
The UP police too had not responded sufficiently, claiming there was no rape by citing a forensic report that said it found no semen in the woman’s body. However, this statement has been disputed by experts who said the samples were taken 11 days after the attack on the woman.
The incident sparked protest after the UP police carried out the woman’s cremation at 2.30 am in secret while the woman’s family was locked up at their house.
Besides the alleged gang-rape case, the Uttar Pradesh government has sought a probe by the CBI into a FIR filed with regard to the “criminal conspiracy” to instigate caste-based conflict, triggering violence, incidents of “vicious propaganda” by sections of media, and political interests.
Following nationwide outrage over the Dalit woman’s alleged gang-rape and the government’s lack of a sufficient and quick response to the issue, the Centre has issued a fresh advisory to states and union territories on mandatory action in cases of crimes against women, and said the probe into rape cases must be completed within two months as per law.
It further said the dying declaration of a victim cannot be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a magistrate.