A Special Investigation Team probing the alleged gang rape and severe physical assault in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras of a young Dalit woman, who died last week, reached her village on October 6.
The SIT, formed by the Yogi Adityanath government, visited the scene of the crime and the cremation, and will submit its report on Wednesday. The panel also met the woman’s family.
The state government had set up the three-member panel following a wave of criticism over its handling of the case. The team, accompanied by a forensic expert, was seen walking through the field where the incident took place.
The probe team also visited the site where the woman was cremated. After the woman’s death at a hospital in Delhi, the UP police took away her body and forcibly cremated it in her village late at night, refusing to hand it to her family.
The special team is headed by UP Home Secretary Bhagwan Swaroop, Deputy Inspector General of Police Chandraprakash and IPS officer Poonam.
The 20-year-old woman was assaulted by four men of the so-called upper caste community at her village on September 14 and left with horrific wounds including fractures, a spinal injury that left her paralysed and a gash in her tongue.
The UP police, accused of a slow response to the woman’s complaint, has alleged that there was no rape or gang rape involved and that a forensic report proves it. That claim has been questioned by experts who point out that the samples were taken 11 days after the woman was attacked.
The victim was cremated in the middle of the night “to avoid large-scale violence” the next morning, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court today (October 6), citing intelligence inputs of “major law and order problems”.
In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the UP government also justified the late night cremation, saying there was a high alert in the district because of the Babri mosque verdict a day later.