- The woman was cremated by police last night at 2.30 am
- She died in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital on Wednesday morning
- Her family and relatives were allegedly locked up in their homes
The death of a 20-year-old woman after she was gang-raped and tortured in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras continues to evoke anger and grief across the country. The woman, who died on Tuesday in Delhi, was cremated by policemen in her village last night, allegedly as her family was locked up in their home.
"The Hathras victim was first raped by some men and then yesterday, she was brutalised by the entire system. The whole episode is very painful," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had termed the gangrape and murder the "class-specific jungle raj" of UP, today condemned the manner in which the woman cremated.
"A daughter of India has been raped and murdered. Fact are suppressed and in the end, her family's rights to perform the last rites are snatched away. This is insulting and unjust," Mr Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
News of her death at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital had led to protests outside the hospital on Tuesday, with the Bhim Army of Chandrashekhar Azad "Raavan" blocking roads for hours and protesters chanting "hang the rapists". The woman's brothers complained that her body was taken away by the police without their knowledge.
On social media, there has been an outpouring of grief and anger from politicians across parties, celebrities and others.
A disturbing sequence of events captured in late night visuals show the woman's family arguing with cops, relatives throwing themselves on the hood of the ambulance carrying the body and the woman's mother weeping helplessly after the cremation.
"Even criminals are allowed dignified cremation. Here is a rape victim being cremated by police at 2:30 am without family members. Could this happen if the family was not dalit? This is a matter of national shame. Our own George Floyd moment," Yogendra Yadav tweeted.
Even criminals are allowed dignified cremation. Here is a rape victim being cremated by police at 2:30 am without family members.— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) September 30, 2020
Could this happen if the family was not dalit?
This is a matter of national shame.
Our own George Floyd moment.#HathrasHorrorShocksIndiahttps://t.co/2nyzM2bQ3C
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra continued her attack on the UP government, demanding Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's resignation. She said the woman's father "was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites".
"He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites," she said in a series of tweets.
@myogiadityanath RESIGN— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) September 30, 2020
Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as Chief Minister. 3/3
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati her party too condemned the manner in which the woman was cremated. "The news of the death of the Dalit girl after gangrape in Hathras, UP, is very sad. The government should provide all possible help to the victim''s family and ensure quick punishment to the culprits by prosecuting them in a fast-track court" Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.
"Why the family wasn't allowed in crematiom? Why at night? (Sic)" National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma tweeted.
All four attackers, upper caste men from the woman's village, are in jail. They will now also be charged with murder.
Cricketer Virat Kohli on Tuesday called the incident ''inhumane'' and hoped that the culprits of the heinous crime will be brought to justice. "What happened in #Hathras is inhumane and goes beyond cruelty. Hope the culprits of this heinous crime will be brought to justice," he tweeted.
The woman had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a deep gash in her tongue in the assault that drew parallels to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape.