‘CBI’s Claim of Affair With Accused False’: Hathras Victim’s Kin
What does the CBI charge sheet say about the gang rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras?
Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet in the gang rape and murder case of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, the family has said that some of the claims made by the CBI, as reported in The Indian Express, are “untrue” and “impossible.”
The newspaper reported that CBI, in its charge sheet, said that the accused was gang raped and murdered by the four dominant caste men in her village after she ‘rebuffed the main accused, Sandeep.’
The CBI charge sheet, as quoted by The Indian Express, said the woman and Sandeep lived nearby in the village and “he developed acquaintance with the victim two/three years back which gradually turned into a love affair.”
The report added that CBI cited witnesses to claim that the victim and the accused used to meet in “isolated places” and that Sandeep had three phone numbers from which he made several calls to a particular number which belonged to the victim’s family.
As per the report, the victim and Sandeep were in touch from October 2019 to March 2020 after which phone records showed that the short (signal) calls – which used to go from the number that the CBI claimed belong to the victim’s family – had stopped.
This “change in relationship,” according to the report, “aggravated” the accused’s feelings and “frustrated him.”
Speaking to The Quint, the victim’s brother, also called Sandeep, said, “The claims of my sister and the accused having any relation are completely false. The phone number doesn’t belong to my sister, the accused may have tried to contact my sister but there was nothing from her side. It is not possible for the two to have any relation since they belong to different castes.”
“Investigation further revealed that when a family member of the victim came to know about the mobile calls exchanged between victim and Sandeep, they had a wordy quarrel with Sandeep’s family in front of his house. This incident was witnessed by several villagers… Subsequently, the victim’s father also made an oral complaint to (the pradhan’s son) about the phone calls made by the accused to the victim, as confirmed by witnesses.”CBI charge sheet, as quoted by The Indian Express
The brother added, “That number does not even belong to us. Have they found any recordings of what their conversation entailed? The call detail records (CDR) seem fabricated.”
He added, “The CBI charge sheet definitely gives us hope but we will feel we have got justice only when the accused are accurately punished.”
“There is no physical threat to us in the village since CRPF is still deployed outside our homes, albeit in less numbers. But, the mental trauma doesn’t seem to end with villagers barely talking to us or interacting with us.”Sandeep, Victim’s Brother
The woman had succumbed to her injuries on 29 September at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi.
Her hurried cremation, late at night on 30 September, purportedly against the wishes of her family, had created outrage across the country, with many slamming the handling of the case by the Uttar Pradesh police.
Earlier, families of both the victims and the accused had told The Quint that nearly 15-20 years ago, Sandeep’s father and another accused Ravi, who was then 13, had assaulted the victim’s grandfather and had been arrested under SC/ST Act.
The accused Thakur family had gone to the victim Valmiki family’s field to graze their buffalo when Madhu’s grandfather had asked them to take the cattle away since they were destroying the crops.
Being rebuked by a Dalit did not bode well with the dominant Thakurs and the victim’s grandfather was assaulted, leaving the two in jail.
However, both the families had said that no other family feud has occurred since then.
The victim’s cousin brother, Neeraj Kumar, said, “Neither the accused nor their family claimed anything about a love affair till our sister was alive because they knew their claims could have been easily debunked.”
Neeraj further slammed a section of the media who claimed that the Hathras case was “honour killing”.
“The authorities and sections of the media tried to humiliate our family and build a narrative against us, either by alleging ‘honour killing’ or arresting a journalist or tagging anyone who’d help us as a Naxal supporter.”Neeraj Kumar, Victim’s Cousin Brother
CBI Charge Sheet Pulls up Loopholes in UP Police Investigation: Report
- The charge sheet has been filed at a local court in Hathras under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 376A, 376D (gang-rape), 302 ( Punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
- The basis of the charge sheet, as reported by the daily, is the dying declaration of the young Dalit girl where she alleged “zabardasti” by four upper caste men in her village.
“Investigation also revealed that all four accused were present in the village or nearby place, which corroborates the allegation of the victim.”CBI Charge Sheet, as quoted by The Indian Express
- As per The Indian Express report, CBI pulled up UP police for recording only one name in the statement given by the victim on 19 September, despite her mentioning three names of accused.
- The CBI also said, as reported by the newspaper, that “though victim alleged molestation, her medical examination regarding sexual assault was not conducted”.
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