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Hathras Rape: Why Does Justice System Act Differently For Dalits?

The Hathras case is making us ask what happens when a person from the Dalit community seeks justice in India.

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The incident where a 19-year-old Dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district succumbed to her injuries after being allegedly gang-raped and brutalised by 4 upper-caste men has sparked a reckoning around the everyday caste-based violence.

While citizens are shaken up by the heinous nature of the crime, Dalit rights activists are pointing out that it's not just the crime but the systemic casteist bias that enables this kind of violence to go on unchecked that also needs to be talked about.

At the same time, the case is drawing our attention to the biased media reportage, and the police force who reportedly did not want to register a case against the four accused initially (all of whom allegedly belong to the ‘dominant’ Thakur caste), only to cremate the girl's body later hurriedly.

This incident is making us ask what happens when a person from the Dalit community seeks justice in India. Should the case be seen as an isolated incident of sexual violence or is it part of a broad pattern of caste-based misogyny and violence prevalent in our society? Are the police and the media complicit as much as a casteist society? Tune in to The Big Story!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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