Uttar Pradesh Police personnel keep watch outside the family house of a 19-year-old woman, who was allegedly gang-raped by four men, at Bool Garhi village in Hathras in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on September 30, 2020. (File photo)
The Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court on Thursday acquitted three of the four accused in the case of the 2020 gang-rape and torture of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras of Uttar Pradesh. The fourth – a Sandeep Sisodia – was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under sections of the SC/ST Act but not of rape, reports indicated.
The three acquitted have been identified as Ravi, Ramu and Luv Kush, news agency ANI said. Quantum of punishment is due to be announced later on Thursday. The men accused of the crime were ‘upper’ caste Thakurs, leading many to question years of caste injustice.
The gang-rape case had trigged massive outrage across the nation with scores of rights activists and Dalit organizations accusing the Yogi Adityanath government of not being transparent in the case. The Uttar Pradesh Police also faced severe criticism after they hurried cremation of the deceased. The police did not even allow her family members to be present during the cremation.
The Allahabad High Court had taken cognisance of the case in October 2020, saying the crime – had ‘shocked’ its conscience. Ten days later the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which filed its chargesheet against the four accused in December of that year.
The CBI had charged all four men with gang-rape and murder.
Significantly, LiveLaw has reported that none of the four accused have been found guilty of the offence of gang-rape by the special court. In the victim’s dying declaration before the district magistrate, she had named and accused three men – Luv Kush, Ravi and Ramu – of sexual assault.
The CBI chargesheet had faulted the Uttar Pradesh Police for ignoring the woman’s statement. The chargesheet had stated: “During her examination on September 22, the victim categorically stated that she was gangraped by the four accused persons; she also named them in her dying declaration… It establishes that on September 14, the victim was gangraped at the bajra field when she was alone. Investigation also revealed that all four accused were present in the village or nearby place, which corroborates the allegation of the victim.”
The opposition, for months, kept its rant high over the deteriorating law and order situation.
-INDIA NEWS STREAM