New Delhi: In a shocking development, the 20-year-old woman, who died on Tuesday in New Delhi two weeks after she was gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh, was cremated by policemen last night, while her family and relatives were allegedly locked up in their homes.
Footage captured by media shows the family arguing with cops, and female relatives throwing themselves on the hood of the ambulance carrying the Dalit woman's body.
The Hathras rape victim, which had suffered several fractures, paralysis, and an injury in her tongue, passed away in New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital yesterday morning. However, the period after the woman's death turned torturous for the victim's family.
After the rape-victim passed away, protesters gathered outside the Delhi hospital and chanted "hang the rapists". In between all of this, the woman's body was whisked away by the UP police in the middle of the night without the family's knowledge, her brothers complained to the media.
The deceased's woman's father and brothers joined the protest, but they were also taken away by the cops in a black Scorpio with UP plates.
According to reports, the rape victim's body was taken to her native village in Hathras, about 200 km from New Delhi.
Suspecting that the UP police wanted to complete the last rites in the middle of the night, the woman's father pleaded with the police to be allowed to take her home and cremate her in the morning. However, their pleas apparently fell on deaf ears, as the cremation was performed. At the village, female relatives tried to block the vehicle by hugging the bonnet.
The police vehicle carrying the body was stopped at multiple points before the cops allegedly pushed the protesters away and drove towards the funeral ground. Relatives also were seen throwing themselves on the hood of the ambulance carrying the body.
The body of the Hathras rape victim was cremated by police at around 2:30 am, while most of her family was home.
Reporters, the family, and villagers were kept away by a human chain made by the cops. The woman's family could not see her or perform her last rites as they were allegedly locked up at home.
The Hathras police, however, claim the cremation was carried out with the family's consent and some members were present. One of the woman's uncles was reportedly shown the cremation.
District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar says that the administration has videos of family members present and the cremation was performed only after the family's consent. Some members of the family were present at the cremation, he said.
Meanwhile, the four attackers, upper-caste men from the woman's village, are in jail. They will now be charged with murder.
It is pertinent to mention here that the UP police have been accused of lapses throughout the case, and it has been claimed that the rushed cremation is an attempt to cover up.
According to the family, the police had at first accused the woman of lying about her injuries. The police had initially registered an attempted murder case but added rape charges only after the woman's formal statement a week after the incident when she was able to speak.