Video Producers: Shohini Bose, Aparna Singh
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
A special court in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, 2 March, acquitted three people accused in the Hathras rape-murder case and held one person guilty.
Out of the four accused – Sandeep (20), Ravi (35), Luv Kush (23), and Ramu (26) – the court only held Sandeep guilty, under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and for offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 50,000.
What Was Said?
Pertinently, the court is reported to have held none of the four accused guilty of either gangrape, or murder.
"No rape or murder charges on any of the accused," Mahipal Singh, advocate representing the victim's family told reporters outside the court, adding that they will appeal the decision in the Allahabad High Court.
"When you see that one person is convicted, and the victim took his name in the police station on 14 September and told about him again on 16 September. If there was only one accused then why did the CBI file a chargesheet against Sub Inspector Verma for negligence? Why has the CBI added sections of rape and molestation? We have the copy of the judgment. Today one person has been convicted, others will also be convicted. But I would like say one thing, we have seen the case had some political influence from the first day and today also I feel it is because of the political influence that some of the accused weren't convicted."Seema Kushwaha, Advocate representing victim's family
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on 14 September 2020. She died on 29 September at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.
The victim was cremated in the night near her home. Her family had alleged that they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, said that the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family."