Sandeep Thakur, the main accused in the alleged gang rape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, has written a letter to the Uttar Pradesh police from the jail, asking the cops to question the woman’s mother and brother, who, he said, tortured the girl and killed her.
Sandeep further wrote in Hindi that he and the three other accused are being framed in the case and sought “justice” for them.
Sandeep Thakur wrote in the letter that he and the 20-year-old woman were “friends”. “Apart from meeting, we used to speak on the phone once in a while,” he wrote in the handwritten letter, which has thumb impressions of all four accused.
The UP police have already hinted that there is evidence that the victim’s family knew one of the accused. The police say that call records indeed reveal that the woman’s brother was in touch with Sandeep Thakur. Some 104 calls were made between the brother and Sandeep Thakur from October last year to March, the police claim.
Creating a narrative that defames a woman’s character and holding her somehow responsible for crimes committed against her is revolting and regressive.
A heinous crime has been committed at Hathras, leaving a 20-year-old Dalit woman dead.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) October 8, 2020
Sandeep Thakur wrote that the woman’s family did not like their friendship. ” I had gone to meet her in the fields that day where her mother and brothers were also present. I returned home after being asked by her to do so. I then started feeding cattle,” he said.
“I later got to know from the villagers that her mother and brothers beat her up over our friendship, injuring her badly. I have never beaten her or done anything wrong with her. Her mother and brothers falsely accused me and three others and sent us to jail. We’re all innocent. Request you to please investigate and get us justice,” he said.
An Aligarh Jail official confirmed that the accused have written a letter to the Hathras police. “They have put forth their version. Now the investigating agencies will see,” Alok Singh, Senior Superintendent of Aligarh Jail, told media persons on Thursday.
The victim’s father has denied the accusations leveled against his family. “I have lost my daughter. Now they are trying to malign us. We are not afraid. The allegations are totally false. We don’t want compensation or money. We want justice,” the woman’s father told NDTV.
“We have no contact with them. We have only one phone at home. If the police have the audio of the calls, they must produce them,” the victim’s brother is said to have told the Special Investigation Team which is looking into the case.
The woman was allegedly assaulted by four upper caste men of her village on September 14. She had suffered multiple injuries and as a result she died in a Delhi hospital last Tuesday.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted to condemn the charges leveled by Sandeep Thakur. “Creating a narrative that defames a woman’s character and holding her somehow responsible for crimes committed against her is revolting and regressive,” she tweeted, adding that the woman deserves “justice not slander”.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up by the UP government, has been given 10 more days to produce its findings.