Policemen stealthily cremated the body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district in September.(PTI File Photo)
Policemen stealthily cremated the body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district in September.(PTI File Photo)

Hathras horror: CBI files charge sheet against four

After a two-month-long investigation into the crime that galvanised India and sparked street protests, CBI filed the charge sheet in the court of the special judge in Hathras.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Agra
PUBLISHED ON DEC 19, 2020 01:12 AM IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday charged four Thakur men with the gang rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district in September, basing its findings on the dying declaration of the victim and rejecting earlier statements by state government officials and the police that disputed the occurrence of rape.

After a two-month-long investigation into the crime that galvanised India and sparked street protests, CBI filed the charge sheet in the court of the special judge in Hathras. The document said the four men — Sandeep, Ravi, Luv Kush and Ramu — allegedly gang raped and murdered the woman when she went to the fields to collect fodder in the early hours of September 14.

They were charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections pertaining to assault, rape, murder and gang rape, apart from those under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The maximum sentence under these charges is death.

“It took time but the truth prevailed. Now, we are getting the impression that justice would be delivered to us,” said the victim’s brother. “My sister’s soul would be at peace when the guilty are punished.”

“It has been a period of agony for us but if CBI finds these four accused guilty of gang rape and murder of my sister, we are optimistic about getting justice in the near future,” added the victim’s brother.

Opposition parties attacked the UP government and blamed senior administration and police officials, who had claimed there was no rape in the case on the basis of medical tests that experts deemed faulty. These comments were also seen as undercutting the investigation, especially at a time when state police was under fire for its alleged delay in responding to the victim, forcibly cremating her body, and blocking media access to the Dalit family even as upper-caste Brahmin and Bania communities held massive gatherings to corral support for the four accused men.

The government rejected the charges.

“In the Hathras case, immediately after the victim’s statement, the UP police altered the sections in the FIR and arrested the four accused and sent them to jail. The chief minister himself announced recommending a CBI probe. On October 3-4, the government sent a letter asking for CBI probe and on October 10, CBI took over the case and began probe on October 11. Before CBI took over the case, the UP government submitted an affidavit in Supreme Court saying that the government wants CBI probe. The government had requested to the SC to get the case probed in whichever way it wants (including under its supervision) by the CBI so that the truth comes out and victim get justice,” said a state government spokesperson.

The woman was gang raped on September 14 and rushed to a hospital in nearby Aligarh town, where she also recorded her statement. As her condition deteriorated, she was moved to Delhi on September 28, and died in the early hours the next day at Safdarjang hospital.

Later that evening, her body was taken to the village, and against the wishes of the family, she was forcibly cremated in the middle of the night by local officials. The next day, the village was barricaded and the family cut off from speaking to the media. The restrictions were only lifted a couple of days later amid growing outrage over the heinous crime and the alleged police laxity.

Senior administration and police officials also disputed that the victim was raped, pointing out that no proof was found in the medical examination. But experts pointed out that the examination was conducted in violation of protocol and too late to find any conclusive evidence.

CBI, whose investigation is being overseen by the Allahabad high court, appeared to have not gone by the statements of the officials and concluded that the victim suffered gang rape. Its findings were based on the dying statement of the woman — in which she named the accused and the crime committed on her — in addition to scientific and forensic evidence, and statements of witnesses and the victim’s family.

“The public is reminded that the above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it. Under the Indian law, the accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial,” read a CBI statement.

Days after the crime, the state government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case, but the matter was handed over to CBI on October 10. On October 27, the Supreme Court asked the Allahabad high court to monitor the probe conducted by CBI. The court took suo-motu (on its own) cognisance of the incident and the controversial cremation and criticised local officials. The UP government is conducting a separate probe into an alleged international plot to defame the state administration.

MS Pundheer, the counsel for the four accused, said, “The charge sheet has been filed against all four accused namely Sandeep, Luv Kush, Ramu and Ravi. The court has taken cognisance.”

The Opposition attacked the government over the case.

“The BJP government, despite its reluctance and resistance, had to refer the Hathras case to CBI because of immense pressure from people, the Opposition and the media. Now, finally, on the basis of the dying declaration of the victim, charge sheet has been filed against four accused. Without struggle, one can’t get anything under BJP rule, be it justice or rights,” said former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who visited the victim’s family in October along with her brother Rahul Gandhi, said the charge sheet raised serious questions about the Yogi Adityanath government.

“This development raises serious questions on the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, UP police, ADG law and order, district magistrate of Hathras and senior functionaries of the state administration,” said Gandhi Vadra in a statement. “The state left no stone unturned to deny the victim dignity in life and death…however, the entire might of the Uttar Pradesh government and police could not suppress the truth.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The December 2 order required states and Centre to install high-definition CCTVs with night vision, audio recording and storage facility of a minimum period of 12 months to 18 months. (HT Illustration).
The December 2 order required states and Centre to install high-definition CCTVs with night vision, audio recording and storage facility of a minimum period of 12 months to 18 months. (HT Illustration).

SC tells states to install CCTVs in police stations, probe agencies in 5 months

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:55 AM IST
  • Court-appointed amicus curiae senior advocate Siddhartha Dave prepared a chart indicating unsatisfactory response from states as well with some proposing to achieve compliance of Court’s December 2, 2020 order by end of 2023.
Close
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)

SC backs taxpayers in software royalty case

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:25 AM IST
  • The judgment, which involved approximately 500 crore in tax revenue, will impact companies such as IBM India Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Hewlett Packard India, Mphasis Ltd, Sonata Software Ltd, and GE India, among others.
Close
A police team in the village in Anoopshahar area of Bulandshahr district where the girls' body was found.(HT PHOTO)
A police team in the village in Anoopshahar area of Bulandshahr district where the girls' body was found.(HT PHOTO)

5 days after 12-year-old girl disappeared in UP’s Bulandshahr, body found in pit

By S Raju
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:02 AM IST
  • The girl's family lodged a complaint three day after she went missing.
Close
Experts say that one develops immunity against the virus 14 days after the second shot of the vaccine which is taken after a minimum of 28 days of the first shot. (ANI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
Experts say that one develops immunity against the virus 14 days after the second shot of the vaccine which is taken after a minimum of 28 days of the first shot. (ANI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

Barely 22 days after taking first jab of vaccine, medico dies of Covid-19

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:01 AM IST
  • Shubhendu Shubham, 23, a 2016-batch student of Patna’s Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH), had taken the first shot of Covaxin in the first week of February, but tested positive for the viral infection later last month before he could take the second shot
Close
Civil society members and corporators from Srinagar during a candle light protest outside Krishna Dhaba, whose owner's son Aakash Mehra succumbed to injuries, 11 days after he was shot.(ANI)
Civil society members and corporators from Srinagar during a candle light protest outside Krishna Dhaba, whose owner's son Aakash Mehra succumbed to injuries, 11 days after he was shot.(ANI)

Srinagar market desolate after death of eatery owner's son in militant attack

By Ashiq Hussain
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 11:13 PM IST
  • For the past 13 days, the Durga-Nag market at Dalgate in Srinagar has been desolate and locals and traders in grief
Close
The Election Commission of India.(HT File Photo)
The Election Commission of India.(HT File Photo)

PM Modi’s photo on vaccination certificate violates model code, TMC tells ECI

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:36 PM IST
  • TMC’s leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O, Brien asked the Election Commission to stop the Prime Minister "from taking unfair advantages and undue publicity at tax payer’s cost during the conduct of elections".
Close
Congress members burn an effigy of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad during a protest, in Jammu on Tuesday.(PTI)
Congress members burn an effigy of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad during a protest, in Jammu on Tuesday.(PTI)

Ghulam Nabi Azad becomes catalyst in rift in Congress unit in J-K

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:52 PM IST
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad detractors and supporters in the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Committee accused each other of acting at the behest of the BJP.
Close
Akhil Gogoi was arrested at Jorhat on December 12, 2019 for his role in the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act.(Photo @kmss_assam)
Akhil Gogoi was arrested at Jorhat on December 12, 2019 for his role in the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act.(Photo @kmss_assam)

Jailed Assam leader urges parties to put up common candidates against BJP

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:50 PM IST
  • Jailed Assam leader urges parties to put up common candidates against BJP
Close
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar (ANI File Photo)
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar (ANI File Photo)

Notice to Manipuri talk show under new digital media laws revoked

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:26 PM IST
Reacting to the controversy, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar told Hindustan Times, "The mechanism is mostly self-regulatory and only in very serious cases can they complain to the ministry." Javadekar further said the rules were “very clear that a DM does not have the power to issue such a notice”.
Close
A senior BJP leader said the party wanted to clinch the seat-sharing deal before home minister Amit Shah's expected visit on March 7. In picture - Amit Shah and TN CM Edappadi K Palaniswami.(ANI)
A senior BJP leader said the party wanted to clinch the seat-sharing deal before home minister Amit Shah's expected visit on March 7. In picture - Amit Shah and TN CM Edappadi K Palaniswami.(ANI)

AIADMK, DMK continue seat-sharing talks with allies for TN assembly polls

PTI, Chennai
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:31 PM IST
While a senior BJP leader said the party wanted to finalise the pact before Union Home Minister Amith Shah's expected visit later this week, the state Congress said the talks with DMK were cordial.
Close
The petition filed in the Supreme Court of India questioned the February 26 decision of the poll panel declaring eight-phase polling in West Bengal.(HT Photo)
The petition filed in the Supreme Court of India questioned the February 26 decision of the poll panel declaring eight-phase polling in West Bengal.(HT Photo)

News updates from HT: Plea filed in SC on eight-phase elections in West Bengal

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:49 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the inauguration of Maritime India Summit 2021, through video conferencing in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI PHOTO).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the inauguration of Maritime India Summit 2021, through video conferencing in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI PHOTO).

India to invest $82 billion in port projects by 2035: PM Modi

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:12 PM IST
  • The capacity of major ports which was around 870 million tonnes per annum in 2014 has increased to around 1550 million tonnes per annum now, the Prime Minister said.
Close
Search and rescue operations for the missing underway in Chamoli. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)
Search and rescue operations for the missing underway in Chamoli. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)

Jharkhand govt begins compensation process for victims of Chamoli glacier burst

ANI, Ranchi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:44 PM IST
The families of the deceased will be given a sum of 1 lakh under the Jharkhand Interstate Migrant Labourers Survey and Rehabilitation scheme.
Close
The Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 2.(HT Photo)
The Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 2.(HT Photo)

Congress forms screening panels for TN, WB, Kerala, Puducherry assembly polls

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:37 PM IST
The screening committee of the Congress for the eight-phased West Bengal Assembly polls starting March 27 will have Delhi leader J P Aggarwal as its chairman.
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meets PSC rank-holders who are protesting outside the Secretariat complex against "backdoor" recruitment by the Kerala government in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. (ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meets PSC rank-holders who are protesting outside the Secretariat complex against "backdoor" recruitment by the Kerala government in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. (ANI)

Rebel woes pose a threat to Congress in poll-bound Kerala

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:32 PM IST
  • Party leaders fear that dissension may heighten in the coming days-- posters and notices have started appearing at many places against probable candidates.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP