The four accused in the alleged gang-rape and torture of a young Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras in September were today charged by the CBI of gang-rape and murder, over three months after the incident that triggered outrage across across the nation.
The CBI has also invoked charges against the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The probe agency filed its chargesheet before a court in Hathras, some 200 km from Delhi.
The 20-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by the four men from the so-called upper caste community in Hathras on September 14. She later died due to her injuries at a hospital in Delhi. The victim was cremated near her home on September 30.
The handling of the case by Uttar Pradesh Police - particularly the late-night cremation of the victim allegedly without the family's approval - led to angry protests across the country. The officials, however, said the cremation was done "as per the wishes of the family".
In October, the Supreme Court said the Allahabad High Court will monitor the probe conducted by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).
The main accused had written to the Uttar Pradesh police from jail, claiming that he and the three other accused are being framed in the case and sought "justice" for the four men. He also accused the woman's mother and brother of torturing her. The woman's family has denied these allegations.
Earlier this week, the CBI sought more time to conclude its investigation following which the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday fixed January 27 as the next date of hearing in the case.