Amid tight security, the family of the 20-year-old woman - allegedly gang raped and tortured in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras - will today appear before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The woman died at a hospital in Delhi last month, two weeks after the alleged assault and torture that triggered widespread outrage.
The family left from Hathras for state capital Lucknow, about 380 km away, early this morning. "I am going with them. Proper security arrangements have been made. The district magistrate and superintendent of police is also accompanying us," Anjali Ganwar, Sub Divisional Magistrate, was quoted as saying by news news agency ANI.
The UP Police on Sunday assured about the security arrangements around the victim's home. "There is sufficient security for the victim's family. The local police is in touch with the family and nearby villages. Officials have been conducting peace meeting in the nearby villages and appealed to them not to pay attention to the rumours," senior police officer Vineet Jaiswal told ANI.
The 20-year-old woman from Hathras was allegedly gang raped and assaulted by four "upper caste" men from her village. The state government has come under heavy criticism over the handling of the case that many have compared to the 2012 gang rape in Delhi, which called for stricter laws. A large part of that criticism has been about the treatment of the young woman's traumatised family allegedly locked up in their home while the victim was hastily cremated.
"Shocked" by the alleged gang rape and murder of the 20-year-old woman and her forcible cremation by the police subsequently, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on October 1 had summoned top government officials to the court.
A division bench of Justice Rajan Roy and Justice Jaspreet Singh had ordered the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary, state police chief and an additional director general of police to appear before it to explain the incident. The bench also ordered Hathras district magistrate and superintendent of police to appear to brief the court, including the ongoing probe into it.
"The incidents which took place after the death of the victim on September 29, 2020, leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience. Therefore, we are taking suo moto cognizance of the same," the court had said in its order.
(With inputs from ANI)