Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for challenging a high court order to relocate and provide employment to the family of the Hathras woman found dead after her alleged rape, and said their "harassment" was like "mental rape".
The state government's plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Monday. While dismissing the petition of the state government, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala had expressed surprise over the fact that the state had filed an appeal against a high court order.
"The family of 'Hathras ki Beti' (daughter of Hathras) is now being made to run by the BJP government, which made false promises of job and relocation. This harassment and humiliation are no less than mental rape or 'manobal ki hatya' (murder of morale)," Mr Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi with the hashtag "Hathraskibeti".
The state government had submitted that it is ready to relocate the victims' family members, but they want to be shifted to either Noida, Ghaziabad, or Delhi. Also, Additional Advocate General (AAG) of Uttar Pradesh Garima Prashad said that this is a question of law whether the elder, married brother could be regarded as a "dependent".
But the Supreme Court bench had said it is not inclined to interfere with the high court order, considering the "special facts and circumstances" of the case.
The high court had noted that the majority of the population in the village belonged to the upper castes, and it is stated that the family, which belonged to a Scheduled Caste, was always targeted by other villagers and even after being under the security of the CRPF, whenever the family members went out, they were subjected to abuse and objectionable comments.
Against that backdrop, the court had directed the government to relocate the family within the state.
The 19-year-old woman died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four men from her village in Hathras on September 14, 2020.
A special court in Hathras on March 2 sentenced the main accused in the 2020 Hathras rape-murder case to life imprisonment while acquitting the three other accused.
The rape and murder charges could not be proved against the prime accused, his lawyer Munna Singh Pundir said.
The court held Sandeep (20) guilty under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, a lesser charge than section 302 (murder).
Ravi (35), Luv Kush (23) and Ramu (26) were acquitted in the case that triggered outrage and put Yogi Adityanath's BJP government in the dock over law and order in the state.
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