CBI questions family members of 4 accused in Hathras rape case
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Thursday questioned the family members of the four accused in the Hathras gang rape case.
For the questioning, the investigators visited the village of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who died in a Delhi hospital on September 29, a fortnight after she was allegedly gang- raped and brutalised in Hathras on September 14.
On Thursday, tight police security was seen at the homes of the accused - identified as Sandeep, Ravi, Ramu and Luvkush - who are lodged in the Aligarh jail. The CBI team questioned the relatives of Luvkush Sikarwar for over three hours.
Before heading for the victim’s village in Hathras, two CBI officials visited the Chandpa police station on Thursday morning.
The family members of the accused declined to give any details to the media about the questions posed by the CBI to them.
On Wednesday, the premier agency had questioned the victim’s father and two brothers for six hours. The questioning began at the CBI’s camp office in Hathras at 11 am and continued till 5 pm. Hathras sub-divisional magistrate Anjali Gangwar said, “The male members of the victim’s family were called to the camp office of CBI and were taken there under full security.” The agency’s camp office has been set up at the office of the deputy director (agriculture) in Hathras town.
Earlier, Seema Pahuja, who is heading the CBI team, met the female members of the victim’s family on Tuesday.
A 15-member CBI team had inspected the crime scene on Tuesday and called the victim’s brother there. The victim’s mother and aunt were also called to the spot later in the day. The CBI team also visited the site where the victim was cremated at 2.30 am on September 30 even as her family protested. The family had alleged that they could not even see their daughter’s face for the last time.
The victim’s relatives have also requested the authorities to shift the four accused from the Aligarh jail to another prison far away. The sub-divisional magistrate responded by saying, “Such a decision can be taken at the government level, if a demand is made.”
About Wednesday’s questioning, the victim’s brother told the news agency ANI, “They questioned my father, brother, and me separately. The accused should also be questioned. They asked us where we were during the incident and how we got to know about it.”
Asked if he was satisfied with the CBI probe, he said: “Santusht tabhi honge jab yeh sab clear ho jayega (I will be satisfied once there is justice).”
The victim’s father said the CBI team behaved well with him.
“They give me time to rest during the questioning. They behaved well with us. They also provided me food,” he said.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman had named the four accused before her death. The incident had sparked protests across the country.
(With agency inputs)